What are the penalties for porch pirates?

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Porch pirates. We know they exist, but what can happen to them if they’re caught?

With packages disappearing off doorsteps every day, Sim Gill, the Salt Lake County District Attorney, said with enough information, porch pirates can be prosecuted.

“If somebody does steal that, it is a crime, and depending on the value of the package, it can be a misdemeanor or felony,” Gill said.

However, he says not all pirates will be caught.

“Unfortunately, it happens enough in frequency, especially at this time of year, that it’s not that it’s low on the totem pole, it’s just that what is the evidence that we have to actually give you the measure of justice that you’re looking for and that accountability,” Gill said.

More than 534 million packages are shipped throughout the country by UPS, USPS, Amazon, and Fedex every day, according to safewise.com.

But not all of those deliveries will make it to the customer.

The conversation of porch pirate’s skyrockets during the holidays with packages arriving frequently to homes.

Safewise reports package theft often increases during the holidays. And Salt Lake City ranks second in the nation for the highest theft reports.

But this problem isn’t just in the capital city, it’s in small towns like Clinton.

Captured on camera – an unidentified man taking a package from Laura Martin’s home.

“It was a hundred and seventy-five dollars,” Martin said.

She said she has reported the theft to the Clinton City Police Department but said the man has not been caught.

“We have a ring doorbell and ring floodlight camera, caught him on camera, but unfortunately he was wearing a hat and sunglasses and the detectives are working but it’s kinda hard to identify him with that,” Martin said.

While this problem is on the rise, Gill encourages the public to take safety precautions such as to track packages, have someone home to pick up the package, pick up the package at the store location and/or post office, and to have a video camera on door.

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