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Criminal Law Blog

Spotlight on Porch Piracy in Arizona

February 21, 2020

Have you ever ordered a package online? If so, then it’s likely that it has sometimes been delivered when you were not at home. If the package has been stolen from your doorstep, then you have been the victim of a porch pirate. But what happens if you are accused of porch piracy? Here is what you need to know about this widespread crime—and what you can do to defend yourself.

What is porch piracy?

Porch piracy is a term that refers to theft of packages that have been left at other people’s homes. Once relatively uncommon, porch piracy has become more prevalent because of the growing popularity of online shopping. However, porch piracy isn’t limited to direct theft from others’ doorsteps. If you find someone else’s package on the street or in a bush, you can still be charged with theft for keeping it.

How are porch pirates caught?

Would-be porch pirates often assume that, if they are careful, they will not be seen taking other people’s items. Today, however, many homeowners use surveillance cameras to keep their property secure. Thus, many porch pirates end up being recorded in the act of theft. Police can use this footage to prosecute individuals who have been accused of stealing other people’s packages.

How serious is porch piracy?

In Arizona, theft is broadly defined. If you find lost property—a lost package, for example—and do not make a reasonable attempt to find the rightful owner, you can be accused of theft, and the charge is just as serious as if you had taken the package from another person’s doorstep. If the package is worth less than $1,000, then its theft is defined as a class 1 misdemeanor. If the package is worth more than that, then you can be charged with a felony. If you have been accused of porch piracy, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.

Are you in need of a criminal defense attorney in Tucson? If so, then it’s time to get in touch with Janet Altschuler. Ms. Altschuler has more than 20 years of experience in criminal law, so she can provide you with the personal representation you need to protect your rights. For a free initial consultation, call (520) 247-1789 today.

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