State Senator April Weaver (R – Brierfield) has taken a stand against the rising menace of “porch pirating” with a bold legislative proposal. On December 20, 2023, Senator Weaver announced her sponsorship of a bill in the upcoming 2024 regular session aimed at designating the theft of deliveries from Alabamians’ homes as a felony offense, carrying penalties of up to 20 years in prison.
“During this Christmas and holiday season, most Alabamians are having gifts or purchases from online retailers delivered to their homes, but that also means the thieves who steal packages from porches and doorsteps are especially active, as well,” Weaver said. “Alabama needs an anti-theft law with penalties strong enough to convince porch pirates that stealing a delivery is not worth the price they will have to pay behind bars.”
Drawing a parallel to the classic tale of the Grinch who sought to steal Christmas in Whoville, Senator Weaver emphasized that if the proposed bill and its associated penalties are ratified by the Legislature, such actions won’t be tolerated in Alabama. “The Grinch may steal Christmas in Whoville, but if this bill and its prison penalties are passed by the Legislature, he won’t do it in Alabama.”
Should Weaver’s bill come into effect, Alabama would join the ranks of nine other states with legislation specifically addressing the issue of porch pirating.
The proposed legislation expands Alabama’s existing theft of property statute to explicitly include “any item mailed or shipped to another person” and outlines a graduated system of penalties corresponding to the value of stolen packages.
Theft of packages valued over $2,500 would constitute Theft of Property First Degree, categorized as a Class B felony carrying a potential sentence of two to 20 years of imprisonment.
For packages valued between $1,500 and $2,500, the offense would constitute Theft of Property Second Degree, classified as a Class C felony punishable by one to 10 years of incarceration.
In cases where the value of stolen packages ranges between $500 and $1,499, the charge would be classified as Theft of Property Third Degree, a Class D felony carrying a sentence of one to five years in prison.
Lastly, theft of packages valued up to $500 would constitute a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year behind bars.
The 2024 regular session, scheduled to commence on February 6, will provide the platform for the proposed legislation to be deliberated upon and potentially enacted into law. Senator Weaver’s proactive stance seeks not only to protect Alabamians’ holiday deliveries but also to send a resounding message that porch pirating will face severe consequences in the state.