"Porch pirate" law makes package theft state-jail felony
AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - It is going to be a lot tougher for "porch pirates" to get away with stealing packages in the state of Texas.
As of Sept. 1, it is now a felony to steal packages delivered to someone's front door.
Molly says she was out of town when a package was delivered to her front door. He says when she got home it wasn't there - so she called the delivery company to see if there was a mistake.
"I looked at my Ring doorbell and there was a guy that walked right down my driveway and picked it up," she said. "He left, never thought twice."
In broad daylight a man goes up to her door takes the package and casually walks away.
"I was stunned. It made me feel unsafe in my own home, like I was being watched," she said.
Molly says she filed a report with the Austin Police Department but there's not much she can do right now.
"When it hits you it's a whole different story because you don't feel safe in your own home when people are taking things right from your door step," she said.
She says there's been a lot of porch pirates in the Galindo area, so she has alerts from apps like NextDoor and ring so everyone can look out for each other.
In May, Governor Greg Abbott signed off on HB 37 and it went in to effect on Sunday September 1st.
It says it's a state jail felony if the mail is appropriated from fewer than 10 addresses. It's a third-degree felony if it's appropriated from 10 to 20 addresses, second-degree felony if it's between 20 and 50, and first-degree if it's appropriated from 50 or more addresses.
"Happy to hear it is a felony I don't know if that will deter anyone from doing it but I hope it does. We'll see," she said.
So in a nutshell it's a felony if someone takes mail without your consent. Molly says it's somewhat of a relief, but she would like to see even more be done to ensure everyone's security.
"More patrols in the neighborhood but I know they're at their limits with things that are more pressing but it's all about making people feel safe inside their home," she said.