Farry’s Bill to Combat Porch Pirating Signed into Law

HARRISBURG – Legislation to combat porch pirating was signed today by the governor, according to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Frank Farry (R-6).

Senate Bill 527 – now Act 41 of 2023 – implements specific penalties for theft of mail, which includes a package, bag or letter. In Pennsylvania, theft of mail is currently charged under other theft offenses based solely on the value of the item taken.

“With online shopping being a growing method of commerce, package thefts have been on the rise nationwide. It’s time to hold these thieves accountable,” Farry said. “This bill focuses on repeat offenders by using a grading system that would increase the penalties if the thief had prior convictions for theft of mail.”

According to Forbes, Americans spent $1.7 trillion shopping online since 2020 and nearly eight in 10 Americans have had a package stolen in 2022.

Reps. Kristin Marcell (R-Bucks) and KC Tomlinson (R-Bucks) have companion legislation in the House of Representatives, House Bill 696.

“Here in the Commonwealth, package theft has impacted almost 2 million Pennsylvanians,” Marcell said. “When you consider the median value of stolen packages are valued at $50, you can see this crime leaves a sizable financial toll on families and businesses, not to mention the emotional distress of having your personal property violated.” 

“The increasing penalties within this bill for package theft will serve as a deterrent the way the current law does not,” Tomlinson said. “Our hope behind this legislation is that it will reduce the occurrence of these crimes and will lead to a safer community.”

Pennsylvania now joins eight other states ­– Texas, New Jersey, Michigan, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas – that have already made porch pirating a felony.



Nicole McGerry; 215-990-8949

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