When a person takes a package that does not belong to them off the porch of another person, they are referred to as a “porch pirate.” Nowadays, it's common for people to have packages from Amazon and other companies delivered more than once a week. The current stay at home orders due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic have only increased online ordering at home delivery.
However, delivery services have altered the way packages are delivered due to the current pandemic. In an attempt to avoid spreading the virus, delivery drivers have been “told not to touch door knobs, gate latches or other surfaces frequently touched by other people.” Because of this, many drivers leave packages on the ground near the sidewalk, instead of walking through gates to leave packages at the door. ABC 7 News reports that the Los Angeles Police are warning residents that these changes in delivery procedure can make it “easier for porch pirates to strike… thieves have easier access and a quicker getaway.”
Many times, home cameras capture the porch pirate taking the package--one thief was caught following an amazon delivery driver and taking the packages on his route. Now, LAPD is “urging delivery drivers to be alert for someone possibly following them” and have asked them to notify the police if they see anything suspicious. They also encourage residents to be alert and ready for their package deliveries, so they can bring them inside as soon as possible.
The dangerous part about taking a package from someone else's porch is that you don't know what is inside the package. When it comes to criminal charges for theft, the consequences depend on the value of what was taken. Under California Law, petty theft is charged when the value of the item taken is less than $950. Grand theft is charged when the value of the item taken is more than $950. While petty theft is usually charged as a misdemeanor, which includes consequences of up to six months in jail and fines of less than $1,000, grand theft can result in a felony charge. A felony theft charge can mean hefty fines and years in prison.
Taking a package off another person's door step may seem like a small thing, but if you are caught and what you took was expensive, you could quickly be facing felony charges. Both a misdemeanor or felony charge can have a very negative impact on your personal life and your future. If you are charged with a theft crime, you should talk to the skilled Southern California criminal defense attorneys at the Kann California Law Group. There are defenses available for theft crimes and the consequences depend heavily on the facts. You will want someone who can help fight your charges or get them dismissed or reduced. Our attorneys have successfully handled many theft cases, so call us today for a free case consultation. We can discuss the details of your case and help answer your questions. Contact us online or by calling 888-744-7730.