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Porch Pirates & Florida Theft Laws

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

October 23, 2019

Rather than shopping at busy and hectic malls and stores for holiday gifts, many Florida residents have been ordering merchandise online in recent years. However, theft involving “porch pirates” are on the rise as well.

Porch pirates are individuals who steal packages off porches, especially when homeowners and occupants are not at home when these packages are delivered during the day. That is why homeowners install security cameras to catch porch pirates in the act and help law enforcement officials identify the thieves.

If you have been accused of stealing packages from another person’s home, you could be charged with the following crimes:

  • Theft – Theft crimes in Florida are based on the value of the stolen items. For example, if the stolen item is worth below $100, it is considered second-degree petty theft that is punishable by a jail sentence of up to 60 days and a maximum $500 fine. If the stolen item is worth between $100 and less than $300, it is first-degree petty theft, which carries a maximum one-year jail sentence and a fine no more than $1,000. Anything worth between $300 and less than $20,000 is considered third-degree grand theft, which is a felony charge that can lead to a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine not exceeding $5,000.
  • Burglary – It is possible a porch pirate could be arrested for burglary, which makes it illegal to ender a dwelling or structure in order to commit a crime. Even if a person doesn’t actually steal a package, it is possible law enforcement officials can still arrest a suspect for burglary. Burglary of a dwelling is a second-degree felony, punishable by a maximum 15-year prison term and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Federal charges – Lastly, theft of U.S. mail is a federal offense, which can lead to a federal prison sentence of up to five years and a maximum $250,000 fine.

If you have been accused of theft in Daytona Beach, contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. today at (386) 693-1637 to let our firm protect your rights and future.