New ‘Porch Pirate’ law to take effect soon in Kentucky

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Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 4:53 PM EDT
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BOYLE COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - New laws are set to take effect Thursday from issues discussed in this year’s General Assembly. One could change the punishment for people caught stealing packages from doorsteps and porches.

Senate Bill 23 was designed to cut down on “porch pirating.”

Police in Danville and Stanford said it has been a common complaint, usually around the holidays or during times when packages frequently are delivered.

“People have arrived home. They are expecting a package. They know it’s there. They got a notification. They get home. And it’s gone,” said Assistant Chief Glenn Doan with the Danville Police Department.

Until now, stealing packages in Kentucky has only been a misdemeanor. That changes to a felony with Senate Bill 23, which easily became law during this past year’s session of the General Assembly.

“No matter what is in that package. If it is worth $5, and you have taken it off a porch, you can be convicted of a felony,” Doan said.

In larger cities, these thefts have become so widespread, that organized crime has even gotten involved.

Some delivery drivers said they have seen people follow them while they make deliveries, and they have been in rural areas.

“Some of it, they see a box and want to go for it. Maybe this will make them think about it more in those cases,” Chief Zach Middleton said with Stanford Police.

“We have had some incidents of people looking to perpetuate those types of crimes, knock on doors, to see if anyone is home, and then take the package. If someone is there, they would make up a story,” Doan said.

Police said the best deterrent is to have scheduled deliveries or have the package delivered to someone who is at home at the location.

The new law also makes it a felony to destroy someone’s mail matter.

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