Whether it is packages off someone’s porch or credit card applications from their mailbox, stealing mail is a common crime in the United States. About 49 million Americans experience the theft of at least one package every year.
If someone accuses you of stealing their packages, the penalties you could face depend on how much the property in the packages was worth.
Accusations of stealing packages from a mailbox or other location could result in theft and mail theft charges. Theft is a state crime with penalties that vary depending on the value of the property. If the property is worth less than $100, you may face a second-degree petty theft charge, a jail sentence of as much as 60 days and a fine of up to $500.
For property worth between $100 and $300, the charge is first-degree petty theft and the potential penalty is one year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. The charge for property worth between $300 and $20,000 is third-degree grand theft. This felony can result in as much as five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If someone accuses you of stealing a package that the United States Postal Service delivered, you could also face federal mail theft charges. Mail theft can result in a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Because you may face both federal and state charges for stealing packages, even the theft of low-value items can result in serious penalties.