The holiday season brings with it many things, both good and bad. On the good list are getting together with family and loved ones, exchanging gifts, sharing meals, and sipping on hot cocoa. On the naughty list is an uptick of certain crimes, including theft.
Many people choose to have holiday items delivered directly to their homes. It’s convenient and easy to do, but there is a downside: porch piracy. Porch pirates are the people who take packages from the porches of unsuspecting shoppers. This crime has been on the rise over the last few years in Denver and all over the state of Colorado.
Taking packages off people’s porches is theft. It can land you in serious legal trouble in Colorado. Plus, the police are more than aware of the prevalence of these crimes, which means your chances of being caught are even greater.
Here’s what you need to know about theft in Colorado and the penalties that can be faced for this crime.
The Definition of Theft
In Colorado, theft is defined as knowingly taking or exercising control over something of value. That something can be a physical item, service, or even trade secret. But in order for a theft to be committed, the property must be taken without the permission of the owner or through deception with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of the property permanently.
Penalties for Theft in Colorado
There are two types of theft in Colorado and associated penalties: misdemeanor and felony theft. The level with which a person is charged depends on the value of the property taken.
The penalties for misdemeanor theft are outlined by the value of the property stolen. They include:
Class 3 Misdemeanor
The value of the items is between $50 and $300, which can result in a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and fines of as much as $750.
Class 2 Misdemeanor
The value of the items is between $300 and $750 and results in a penalty of up to one year in jail and fines of $1,000.
Class 1 Misdemeanor
The value of the property is between $750 and $2,000, resulting in a penalty of up to 18 months in jail and fines of as much as $5,000.
Felony theft occurs when the value of the property taken is over $2,000. The different levels of felony theft include:
Class 6 Felony
This is for property valued between $2,000 and $5,000. It can result in up to 18 months in prison and fines for as much as $100,000.
Class 5 Felony
For property valued between $5,000 and $20,000, this can result in up to three years in prison and fines of as much as $100,000.
Class 4 Felony
For property valued between $20,000 and $100,000, this can result in up to six years in prison and fines of as much as $500,000.
Class 3 Felony
For property valued between $100,000 and $1 million, this can send you to prison for up to 12 years and make you responsible for fines up to $750,000.
Class 2 Felony
For property valued over $1 million, this can send you to prison for up to 24 years and make you responsible for fines of as much as $1 million.
Porch piracy isn’t a game – it’s a gamble on your future. Police are on the lookout for those taking packages from porches, so don’t be among those who do it.
About the Author:
Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.