New law aiming to crack down on porch pirates goes into effect Sept. 1

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — More than 800 laws are set to go into effect in Texas on Sunday, Sept. 1. One of those laws is aiming to crack down on porch pirates.

Sgt. Carla Burr with the Amarillo Police Department said once the law goes into effect, it will not really change what the department is currently doing to catch the porch pirates, but rather change how they’re prosecuted.

Penalties are going to range from a class a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, depending on the number of addresses mail is taken from.

“If it’s one person’s, then it’s just going to be a class a misdemeanor. But if you steal like 50 or more, or from 50 or more addresses is how it’s written in the statute, then that’s a first-degree felony,” Sgt. Burr explained.

This changes from before, when the level of penalty was based on the value of what was stolen.

APD said the community needs to keep reporting everything.

Within the past year, APD has partnered with the Ring app, a doorbell security camera linked to the Neighbors app on your smartphone.

“What it is, is it separates the community into different areas of town, and you can post on there if you see something if you have something stolen anything neighborhood watch related. And we can go in there and monitor and contribute, and you know ask for video,” Sgt. Burr said.

Sgt. Burr said that all of the footage from the Ring app is submitted completely voluntarily, they don’t have access to live streams of the security cameras.

You do not have to have a ring security camera to be a part of the Neighbors app. You can download it to be alerted if anything’s happening in your area, or submit tips yourself.

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