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California senator's new bill could send porch pirates to jail for a year

Senate proposal seeks to increase jail time for growing crime

SAN DIEGO — As we all start to return to normalcy and more of us head back to the office to work, what can be done to make sure your deliveries are safe from porch pirates? 

Well, California Senator Brian Jones says - lock them up. His bill that's going through the state legislature would punish porch pirates with up to a year in jail.

Jemele Polk said he’s been a victim of porch pirates at least six times. He said, it happens all the time where he lives.

"We were just watching this couple just walking through with boxes and everything," said Polk. “They’ve taken clothes and gifts for somebody else. It sucks. I always have to call the companies where I ordered it."

Senator Jones' Bill 358 would allow judges to impose up to a year in jail for porch pirates. The sentence is an increase from the current six month sentence. 

Jones said in a statement: 

“The increase in Californians ordering more food, medicine, and other products for home delivery has unfortunately been accompanied with a rise in thefts of those items,” said Senator Brian Jones. “So-called ‘Porch Pirates’ often follow delivery trucks throughout a neighborhood and commit multiple thefts in the same day. Allowing judges to impose up to a year, rather than just 6 months, in jail should be an effective deterrent.”

However, Jenifer Gler said a year in jail is just too much. 

"They have to live with the consequences of their actions but I don't think throwing people in jail is always the answer for everything," said Gler.  

She’s been a victim of porch pirates a few times as well. Her solution to the problem? Stop the thieves before they can get her delivery. 

"Now when I get packages delivered to my house, I make sure I'm going to be home or my neighbors and I know if we have something getting delivered, we just tell each other."

Karina runs a small business from her home and ships deliveries to her customers regularly.

"I always use the post office because I think it's safer," Karina said. 

She knows porch piracy is on the rise and is making sure her customers aren’t victims. 

"They use a tracking number and I'm always in contact with them so I've never had a problem."

This bill isn't a law yet and it still has to be approved by the full California legislature. 

In the meantime, whether it passes the assembly or not, porch pirates are out there, so we all have to do what we can to protect our packages. 

Simple things, such as getting packages delivered to your job, installing a security camera or require package signatures will help.

WATCH RELATED: San Diego Sheriff's Department uses inmate work program to promote public safety (July 2021)

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