ST. GEORGE — It’s a bill designed to make porch pirates walk the plank.
“I hate porch pirates,” Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George, said Friday as he discussed the reasoning behind the recently introduced House Bill 433: Mail Theft Amendments.
Porch pirates, or those who steal packages left outside someone’s front door by a mail carrier, would have stiffer penalties under HB 433 than are currently enforced under Utah law.
“It makes our mail theft law parallel, or in unison with federal law,” Brooks said.
Currently, a person who commits mail theft is subject to a second-degree felony if the value of the mail or package stolen is $5,000 or higher. Stolen mail valued between $1,000 and $5,000 gets a third-degree felony, while below $1,000 is in a class A misdemeanor.
Current law doesn’t exactly account to mail stolen that may contain personal information that could lend to identity theft, Brooks said. His proposed bill would address that, he said.
Under HB 433, mail theft is a third-degree felony, while the theft of what contains personal identifying information of 10 or more people is a second-degree felony.
Despite the bill being introduced in the latter half of the general legislative session, Brooks believes HB 433 has a good chance of getting through before the session ends March 12.
“Its got a lot of support,” he said. “I have a lot of support from my colleagues and every constituent I’ve talked to has been really, really happy about it.”
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