With so much commerce shifting toward home delivery services such as Amazon, there has been a corresponding rise in theft from packages left outside the front doors of intended recipients. While numerous homeowners have used Ring devices and other video systems, often those images just catch someone taking the item away without providing much useful information to police. 

In an effort to combat the theft of home deliveries, Pennsylvania has increased criminal penalties for individuals convicted of stealing packages and parcels from residential properties. Offenders may face felony charges, particularly for repeat offenses or thefts involving high-value items.

The legislation defines theft of home deliveries as a distinct offense, emphasizing the seriousness of stealing packages intended for delivery to residences. This targeted approach allows law enforcement to prioritize investigations and prosecutions of such crimes. Offenders may be required to pay restitution to victims for the value of stolen items and any associated damages or losses. 

A first offense for theft of mail where the value of the property is less than $200 carries a maximum jail term of up to 90 days and a fine as high as $300. Upon a second conviction, an individual could face two year behind bars and a maximum $5,000 fine. When the value of the item(s) involved exceeds $200, a conviction is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment for a first or second offense. The fine can run as high as $10,000. For a third offense, the top prison term rises to seven years and the maximum fine is $15,000.

These tough penalties reflect the importance of home delivery today and the desire of lawmakers to treat thefts from doorways and mailboxes more like home break-ins than retail shoplifting cases. If you’re facing a theft of mail charge, it is critical to hire a seasoned criminal defense attorney who can review the facts and advise you of potential defenses that might exist. 

At Matthew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law in Somerset, I provide strong defense advocacy for Pennsylvanians accused of theft and other felony and misdemeanor crimes. Regardless of the charge, my firm is dedicated to protecting the fundamental rights of the accused. You can set up a consultation by calling 814-443-1631 or contacting me online. I assist clients in Somerset, Indiana, Bedford and Cambria counties.