Porch Pirates Steer Clear Of Florida As The Sunshine State Ranks Last In A New Study
As we head into the holiday shopping season it seems like every day there’s a story about porch pirates stealing packages. In Memphis, Tennessee they’ve gone to the next level. In Memphis, multiple cars blocked an intersection, trapping a Fed Ex truck, while others broke the lock on the back of the truck and stole packages. According to Fox13 in Memphis, 3 men were detained after officers approached them in their car, they were getting high in an apartment parking lot. When police searched their car “the items inside the vehicle were four Kicker Speakers 6X9, one vehicle headlight, one 14 piece pot and pan set, a cardboard box of air lines and three Direct TV cable boxes.” So they robbed a Fed Ex truck and then got busted because they stopped to smoke weed?
Stories of porch pirates in Florida always make headlines, but a new study from Lombardo Homes shows that Florida actually ranks last in the country when it comes to the problem. For the package theft hot spots ranking, they analyzed Google searches and phrases directly relating to package theft and porch piracy. Phrases such as “porch pirates”, ” what to do if package is stolen”, “package stolen ups”, and “stolen packages police report.” Because if you have a package stolen, the first thing you’ll do is ask Google what you should do.
The data was then compared per capita. And guess what? Florida ranks last. Number 50 across the 50 United States in per capita searches for the topic. The number one state on this list is North Dakota. KX News in North Dakota reports that among residents, “24.2% experienced having at least one package stolen from them in the past 12 months.” Ouch.
So why does Florida rank last on the survey for porch pirates?
Here’s the deterrent. Florida is not as easy on theft as some other states.
If the value is below $100, it’s a second-degree petty theft. You’re looking at up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Between $100 to $300 an individual may be arrested for first-degree petty theft. Now you could face one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
And now the big stuff. Value from $300 and $20,000 is a third-degree grand theft. That’s a felony and you could get up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
You could also face federal charges if you’re messing with the US mail, regardless of value. That can be a maximum of five years and a maximum fine of $250,000. That’s why you see them robbing UPS and Fed Ex trucks and not US Mail trucks. 5 years in a Federal prison vs. local misdemeanor charges is a good reason.
So although you see these crimes often on the news, it seems to be much worse in other states than it is in Florida. But don’t let your guard down. Don’t let packages sit out for long periods, and keep a camera pointed where packages are placed. A visible camera is quite the deterrent. I use two. One they can plainly see – and one they can’t. The best way to make sure it never happens to you is a little more obvious. Go to the store. Shop local.