Georgia legislature passes “porch piracy” bill

GEORGIA (WDEF) – It’s something that happens all too often. People get packages shipped right to their front doors and before they can even claim them – they’re stolen by thieves. But now, a new bill is hoping to deter these porch thieves in Georgia.

The Georgia state House agreed to Senate changes on House Bill 94 by a vote of 103-59, sending the bill to Gov. Brian Kemp for consideration.

The bill creates the crime of porch piracy, defined as taking three or more packages from three or more different addresses. It would be a felony punishable by one to five years in prison, no matter the value of the items stolen.

State House Representative Mike Cameron, a supporter of the legislation, says that it’s needed to combat organized theft rings, especially as people have become more reliant on home deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There was a lot of problems with the holiday season with people ordering. And like I said, people now are ordering more online because of Covid. They’re not going to malls or big box stores. So they’re buying a lot of things they would have bought at big box stores online and being delivered to their homes and unfortunately some people are watching out for that and looking to find packages,” explains Cameron.

And while Dalton Communications Officer Bruce Frazier says they thankfully haven’t seen the problem as much in his city, he still recommends that shoppers get their packages shipped to their workplace rather than their homes for a more secure delivery.

“If you’re having something shipped, especially if you know that it is something that might be a high dollar item that might be more attractive to thieves, it’s a good idea to maybe have it shipped to your workplace, that way somebody will be there to sign for it and hold on to it for you. We really try to get people to avoid having items shipped to their homes if it’s going to be sitting unattended for a long time,” says Frazier.

Categories: Dalton, Featured, Local News

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