Texas governor signs bill to make porch pirates felony offenders

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HOUSTON (WTHR) — Porch pirates in Texas might be reconsidering their crimes in a few months.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill June 10 that will make stealing mail from more than 10 people a state felony offense. The bill describes mail as a letter, postal card, package, bag or any other sealed article that's delivered by a mail carrier or service, or that people have left for mail carriers.

That means porch pirates who go into neighborhoods and take packages from neighbors' doorsteps will be felony offenders if convicted.

The bill will go into effect Sept. 1.

According to KPRC, jail time for the offenses could range from 180 days in jail to 10 years in prison, with the option of a fine of up to $10,000. The law also calls for additional consequences if the victims are elderly or disabled.