Georgia bill would send convicted porch pirates to prison for at least a year

Repeat porch pirates can now be charged with a felony in the state of Michigan. Georgia is looking to pass stricter legislation. (Source: WILX)

ATLANTA (Gray News) - A bill in the Georgia General Assembly would toughen penalties for people convicted of stealing packages from doorsteps.

Republican Rep. Bonnie Rich filed House Bill 954, which would make porch piracy a felony punishable by a minimum of one year in prison. The maximum penalty would be a five-year sentence.

“We are having an epidemic of porch piracy right now,” Rich told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The same penalties would be applied to anyone convicted of possessing more than 10 pieces of mail or mail from three or more different mailboxes or addresses.

Rich said the stricter punishments would work as a deterrent, as current Georgia theft laws require the stolen property to be valued at more than $500 for it to be considered a felony.

Georgia isn’t the only state where lawmakers are looking to toughen laws against porch pirates. Michigan passed a law in 2019 which could punish repeat offenders with up to five years in prison.

Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.