South Carolina delays 5-year minimum for stealing packages

South Carolina delays 5-year minimum for stealing packages
Democratic state Rep. Cezar McKnight suggested a range from probation to 15 years for anyone convicted of violating his proposed “Defense Against Porch Pirates Act.” (Source: Live 5/File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - A small group of South Carolina lawmakers has decided to postpone voting on a proposal to create a new law specifically to handle people stealing packages from porches.

The decision Wednesday came even after the chief supporter admitted a five-year minimum prison sentence was a bit harsh.

Instead Democratic state Rep. Cezar McKnight suggested a range from probation to 15 years for anyone convicted of violating his proposed “Defense Against Porch Pirates Act.”

Theft is already a crime, but McKnight says passing the new law would emphasize how stealing from a porch violates the sanctity of a home.

McKnight has called for package theft to be upgraded to a felony rather than petty larceny.

The Williamsburg County Democrat said in 2018 when he pre-filed a similar bill that the problem of “porch pirates” is only getting worse as more people are shopping on the internet and having things delivered.

Other lawmakers say they would like more time to discuss the bill in a House subcommittee.

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