New state law would mean jail time for porch pirates, mail thieves

Gov. Greg Abbott signs new law making mail theft state felony

SAN ANTONIO – A new state law signed by the governor this week will go after porch pirates and mail thieves starting Sept. 1.

State Rep. Ina Minjarez said her bill will hopefully be a deterrent for a crime that has become all too popular, making even lawmakers victims.

"All of our mail here in this building, we get hit several times. It is a problem everywhere," Minjarez said.

The bill got the support of San Antonio representatives who formed a Mail Theft Task Force last year to find a way to combat the situation.

San Antonio Councilman Clayton Perry was among those who pushed for a change in legislation through the task force. He, too, became a victim.

Don Turco said he's been a victim three times.

"I got it on camera, but unfortunately, they took the license plate off their cars, so you couldn’t see what the license plate number was, so when we recorded it, there’s nothing we can do about it," Turco said.

When law enforcement officials make a stop or find a large amount of mail that doesn’t belong to the individual they encounter, authorities can only give them a citation or charge them with a Class C misdemeanor, without an arrest.

About the Authors: