Tag Archives: mail theft

St. Charles theft defense attorney

In December 2018, a video titled “Package Thief vs. Glitter Bomb Trap” was posted on YouTube. The video, which has since garnered over 79 million views, shows unsuspecting individuals stealing packages from porches. Once they try to open them, the packages spray glitter all over the place and record their reactions through a built-in camera. As more and more people use online shopping and delivery, concerns about the theft of packages continue to increase. In Illinois, stealing a person’s mail is a major criminal offense with significant penalties. If you or someone you know has been accused of stealing a package from someone’s property, speak with a criminal defense attorney right away to learn about your legal options.  

Taking a Package May Result in Significant Jail Time

Law enforcement and legislators are becoming increasingly vigilant about package theft in the United States. According to one survey, about 30 percent of Americans have had at least one package stolen from their property. Theft of items valued at less than $500 is a Class A misdemeanor offense in Illinois. If convicted of misdemeanor theft, a person may be sentenced to jail for up to one year and required to pay a fine of up to $2,500, in addition to paying for losses caused by the theft. However, if the offender has a previous theft-related offense on his or her record, the charge may be elevated to a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If the value of the stolen items was between $500 and $10,000, this is a Class 3 felony offense punishable by two to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000, in addition to payment of restitution.

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St. Charles package theft defense lawyerTaking packages from doorsteps or porches may seem like a somewhat harmless, or “soft,” crime to commit, but the consequences of such theft are serious. After all, one may think that the recipient of the package could easily blame the company for not shipping the item, or FedEx, USPS, UPS, or another carrier for losing the box along the route, and then simply have another item delivered at no cost to them. However, package theft is a serious crime, and anyone who has been connected to a single theft or a string of package thefts in a community needs to understand the predicament that they are in. If you have been charged or accused of package theft, you should contact a Naperville criminal defense lawyer immediately, even if you know that the allegations are a complete mistake. 

The Rise in Package Theft has Increased Law Enforcement Vigilance

One in five homeowners has been the victim of package theft in the last 12 months alone, losing an average of $140 in products. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors are cracking down on offenders with increasing vigor, particularly during the holiday season when package delivery skyrockets. Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve is the busiest time for the post office, which ships a total of 16 billion items during that time period, including 750 million packages. UPS ships at least 750 million packages as well during the holiday season. These numbers do not include other shipping giants such as FedEx. 

Mail Theft

An even more serious offense than traditional theft is mail theft, which is a federal crime under 18 U.S. Code § 1708. A mail theft charge, regardless of the price of the property taken, carries up to a five year prison sentence for each offense, and federal prosecutors usually aim for the maximum sentence possible.

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