Edison Theft Lawyers
“Porch pirate” is a common term for a person who steals packages from doorways or porches before the homeowner can pick them up. Incidents of alleged stealing of packages while people aren’t home are not rare occurrences in New Jersey. In fact, as more New Jersey residents do their shopping through online sites, “porch piracy” is on the rise. Recently, a man was arrested in Edison for allegedly trying to steal packages from a house in a neighborhood where two off-duty New Jersey police officers lived. If you have been accused of stealing packages or committing another form of theft in Edison or elsewhere in Middlesex County, it is important to understand charges you may face and the consequences of being convicted. To discuss your specific theft charges with a local Edison theft defense lawyer, contact our firm today at (732) 659-9600. A member of our team is available immediately to assist you and we provide free consultations.
Criminal Charges for Stealing Packages in Middlesex County
Theft of an object from a person’s porch or their residence often falls under New Jersey’s general theft laws. New Jersey Revised Statute 2C:20-3, for example, makes it a crime for someone to unlawfully take or exercise unlawful control over another person’s movable property with intent to take that property away from the owner.
Theft offenses in New Jersey can be charged as a disorderly persons offense or an indictable offense of varying degrees depending on the value of the item(s) stolen. A disorderly persons conviction can result in six months in jail and a substantial fine. Even worse, prosecutors may charge you with an indictable offense if you steal an object worth several hundred dollars. Depending on the specific degree of theft charges, you can face years in prison and fines in the tens of thousands of dollars if you are convicted of an indictable offense.
Arrested for Theft in Edison, New Jersey
In the aforementioned case, a police sergeant and his wife were heading to a medical appointment while they were both off-duty. They told police that they noticed a suspicious-looking man wearing a leather jacket, which was odd given that the weather was warm. Given his suspicious behavior, the off-duty officers said they tailed the man and saw him leave a home in the area with an envelope and a cardboard box in his arms. The officers said it became clear to them the man had stolen the package from their neighbors, and they called on-duty officers who eventually found and arrested the suspect. The man in question was then charged with theft, hindering apprehension, obstruction, and possession of drug paraphernalia. An additional suspect who allegedly helped the man drive away from the neighborhood before on-duty officers arrived is still at large.
Why New Jersey May Enhance Porch Piracy Laws
Assemblyman Rob Karabinchak (D-Middlesex) recently introduced legislation to increase the penalty applicable to stealing packages off peoples’ porches. These crimes are most commonly prosecuted as disorderly persons theft offenses, but the assemblyman would like to see this kind of offense elevated to a fourth-degree or third-degree indictable offense, in a broader range of circumstances. Until that proposal passes though, if at all, prosecutors will likely continue to charge “porch banditry” as a disorderly persons offense. However, a theft charge can always be elevated to a felony offense if the estimated value of the property involved exceeds $200.
Theft Defense Attorney in Edison Needed
If you have been charged with a theft crime in Edison, New Jersey, you are exposed to severe consequences. With this in mind, you should consult an experienced Edison criminal defense attorney if you are facing any kind of criminal theft charge. Call our local offices in Middlesex County at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation about your case.