BySarah Winkelmann Published:Jul. 13, 2021 at 6:33 AM EDT
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Package thefts across the city of Savannah are on the rise this year. But as of July 1, a new law in Georgia means porch pirates will face a felony charge and mandatory prison time.
While things like storage lockers from Amazon and doorbell cameras are helping with safety, package theft is still an issue. Police hope the new law will help deter thefts in the future.
As of July first, stealing multiple packages from at least three different addresses is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. However, trial judges would have the discretion to reduce it to a misdemeanor. The bill also makes it a felony to steal at least 10 pieces of mail from three different addresses or mailboxes.
“I think it plays more into our expectation that it will deter people because, of course, people want to have things that they purchase, they want to be able to give gifts to their loved ones or friends, and especially if it is something of sentimental value that is irreplaceable and when it is taken, some of those can’t be replaced,” said Joshua Flynn, Neighborhood Resource Officer.
Savannah Police have reported 107 package thefts since the start of this year. At this point last year, they were at 73. They attribute that to more people shopping online and getting things delivered due to the pandemic, but now, people are back at work and are not able to pick up their packages immediately after it was delivered.
But regardless of the value inside, anyone that takes multiple packages from at least three addresses will be charged with a felony now in the state of Georgia.
Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.