Look out porch pirates. State Representative Adam Schwadron, R-St. Charles, is proposing to get a law on the books that is designed to battle mail theft.
He says package thefts in America amount to about $5.4 billion annually.
“The last information I have from pretty much about a year ago is that 14% of Americans say that they have been victims of package theft in the previous 12 months,” Schwadron says. “So, that’s about 35 and a half million Americans and the average value – the packages that are stolen are about $156, roughly. This is a widespread problem across the entire state and across the entire nation. We do need to try and nip this problem in the bud while we’re still early on. I don’t see package delivery slowing down anytime in the near future.”
He is sponsoring a bill that would make the first offense of stealing mail a misdemeanor and any following offense would be a felony.
“Having that Class A misdemeanor is the first offense and then going to a Class C felony on the subsequent offenses,” says Schwadron. “What we have actually found is that by having that as the first penalty is that it can actually reduce recidivism rates, because now that they have that first defense, looking at a Class E felony as any subsequent offense, you’d be staring (at) prison time.”
A fine could also be involved.
“Some people don’t even want it to be a misdemeanor for first offense. They want it to be a felony because of how widespread this issue is,” says Schwadron. “But we understand that sometimes people do make mistakes. We don’t want to throw the book completely at them and allow them the opportunity to correct their mistake in the future by not committing that offense again.”
Wednesday was the first day members of the Missouri Legislature could pre-file bills for the upcoming session. The next session gets underway in January.
To view House Bill 1637, click here.
To hear the Show Me Today interview with Representative Schwadron, click below.
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