Is Stealing Packages a Felony? Here’s What You Need to Know

Is stealing packages a felony? This is something that has been on the minds of many these days. With the rise of online shopping, package theft has become more prevalent than ever before. It’s hard to imagine how someone could stoop so low and steal something that does not belong to them, but unfortunately, it’s a reality that many have to face. So, what are the consequences of stealing packages, and what can be done about it?

First and foremost, stealing packages is a felony offense. This means that if someone is caught committing this crime, they could face serious legal repercussions. In some cases, the penalty could be up to several years in prison and hefty fines. While it might seem like a petty crime, the consequences are far from minor, and the punishment for being caught stealing packages can be severe.

The worst part about package theft is that it’s a crime that could happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you live in a posh neighborhood or a not-so-great area. Thieves are opportunistic, and they will take advantage of every chance they get. This is why it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from this crime. By doing so, you can avoid the hassle and stress that comes with losing an important package.

Definition of Felony and Its Classifications

A felony is a serious crime that is generally punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or even by death. It is the most severe type of crime that one can commit, and therefore, it is considered a very serious offense in the United States. Felonies can be classified into different categories, depending on the severity of the crime and the type of punishment that has been prescribed for it.

  • Class A Felony: This is the most serious type of felony, and it usually involves crimes such as murder, treason, and rape. The punishment for a Class A felony can vary depending on the state, but in most cases, it includes life imprisonment or the death penalty.
  • Class B Felony: This type of felony usually involves crimes such as manslaughter, kidnapping, and burglary. The punishment for a Class B felony can vary as well, but it generally ranges from a few years to up to 25 years in prison.
  • Class C Felony: Crimes such as forgery, theft, and drug possession usually fall under this category. The punishment for a Class C felony can range from a few months up to 10 years in prison.

It is important to note that stealing packages alone may not necessarily be considered a felony, and the severity of the punishment will depend on the value of the items stolen and the circumstances surrounding the theft. However, stealing packages from a USPS mail carrier, for instance, is considered a federal crime and can carry heavy penalties. In any case, it is always advisable to avoid stealing or tampering with other people’s property, as it is not only morally wrong but also illegal, and the consequences can be severe.

Laws regarding theft of packages

Stealing packages is considered a crime, and the laws regarding this theft vary by state. However, most states view theft of packages as a form of larceny, which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the crime.

  • In some states, the value of the stolen property determines the severity of the charge. For example, if the value of the stolen package is less than $1,000, the crime is typically classified as a misdemeanor. But if the value exceeds $1,000, the offender could be charged with a felony.
  • Other states follow different guidelines. For instance, some states consider theft of packages to be a felony regardless of the value of the package stolen.
  • In certain states, the severity of the charge depends on additional factors. For example, in some states, if the offender has past convictions for theft or other crimes, the current charge may be upgraded to a felony.

Additionally, each state has its own statute of limitations on theft charges, meaning that charges must be brought within a certain amount of time after the crime is committed. The length of the statute of limitations varies by state and may depend on the severity of the charge.

Overall, it’s important to remember that stealing packages is a crime, and offenders can face hefty fines and even incarceration if they’re caught and found guilty. As online ordering continues to rise in popularity, it’s essential to take steps to protect your packages and reduce the risk of theft, both by using secure delivery methods and investing in security measures for your home.

State Classification of Charge Value Threshold for Charge
California Felony Any value
Texas Misdemeanor or Felony Less than $2,500 or over $2,500
New York Misdemeanor Less than $1,000

It’s important to note that these charges and thresholds may change over time and may not reflect the current laws. For specific information on theft of packages in your state, consult a legal professional.

Factors that determine the severity of the punishment for package theft

Package theft is a serious crime that can result in harsh penalties. The severity of the punishment for package theft depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • The value of the stolen items: The more valuable the stolen items, the more severe the punishment is likely to be. For example, stealing a package valued at $10 may lead to a lesser punishment than stealing a package valued at $1,000.
  • The number of packages stolen: If a person steals multiple packages, they are likely to receive a harsher punishment than if they stole just one.
  • The criminal history of the offender: A person with a prior criminal history is likely to receive a more serious sentence than a first-time offender.

Other factors that could impact the severity of the punishment include whether the offender used force or violence to steal the package, whether the theft caused damage to the victim’s property, and whether the theft occurred during the holidays or other peak package delivery times.

In addition to these factors, the punishment for package theft can also vary depending on the state or jurisdiction in which the crime was committed. Some states classify package theft as a misdemeanor, while others classify it as a felony. The type of charge can impact the severity of the punishment, as felony charges typically result in steeper fines and longer prison sentences.

Value of Stolen Items Type of Charge Punishment
Less than $500 Misdemeanor Fines up to $1,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail
More than $500 Felony Fines up to $10,000 and/or 1-5 years in prison

If you have been the victim of package theft, it’s important to report the crime to your local authorities. Not only can reporting the crime help you recover your stolen items, but it can also help prevent package theft in your neighborhood or community.

How to Report Stolen Packages to the Authorities

Dealing with stolen packages can be a major hassle, but reporting them to the authorities can help ensure that justice is served and prevent future incidents. Here are a few steps you can take to report stolen packages:

  • Contact the seller: The first thing you should do is contact the seller to report the stolen package. They may be able to provide more information about the shipping and tracking of the package, and they may also be willing to send a replacement package free of charge.
  • File a police report: If you believe the package was stolen, you should file a police report as soon as possible. This will help create a record of the incident and may also help law enforcement in their efforts to recover the package and identify any suspects involved in the theft.
  • Contact the shipping carrier: If the package was shipped through a major carrier like UPS or FedEx, you should also contact them to report the stolen package. They may be able to provide more information about the whereabouts of the package or any unusual activity related to the package.

When reporting stolen packages to the authorities, it’s important to provide as much information as possible. This may include the tracking number of the package, the date and time it was expected to arrive, and any photographs or video footage that might help identify any suspects.

If you’re having trouble getting the authorities to take your stolen package report seriously, it may be helpful to reach out to your local elected officials or community organizations for support. These entities may be able to help advocate on your behalf and ensure that your case is taken seriously.


Dealing with stolen packages can be frustrating and stressful, but reporting them to the authorities can help ensure that justice is served and prevent future incidents. Whether you’re reporting the theft to the seller, police, or shipping carrier, be sure to provide as much information as possible and advocate for your rights as a victim of theft.

Authority Contact Information
Police Department Call your local police department’s non-emergency line
Shipping Carrier (UPS) Call 1-800-PICKUPS (1-800-742-5877)
Shipping Carrier (FedEx) Call 1-800-GoFedEx (1-800-463-3339)

Remember, reporting stolen packages to the authorities can help ensure that justice is served and prevent future incidents. Don’t hesitate to take action if you believe that your package has been stolen.

Measures to Prevent Package Theft

Package theft has become more rampant over the years, especially during holiday seasons, and has caused a lot of losses to individuals and businesses alike. However, there are measures that one can take to prevent such unfortunate occurrences. Here are five ways to prevent package theft:

  • Install a Security Camera
  • A security camera is an excellent way to deter thieves. They will most likely think twice before stealing a package if they know there’s a camera, and the footage can be used as evidence if the thief is caught.

  • Get a Smart Lock
  • Smart locks work by allowing delivery persons to access your home using a unique code. They can leave packages inside the house rather than leaving them outside where they’re easily accessible to thieves. This way, you can be sure that your packages are safe inside your home at all times.

  • Opt for In-Store Pickup
  • Many retailers offer in-store pickup these days. Instead of having the items delivered to your home, you can choose to collect them in-store. This way, you can be sure that your package won’t be stolen since you’ll be the one collecting it from the store.

  • Request Signature Confirmation
  • Sending packages that require signature confirmation ensures that you’ll be there to sign for it when it’s delivered. The delivery person won’t leave the package unattended, reducing the chances of it getting stolen.

  • Deliver Packages to Work
  • If it’s allowed, having your packages delivered to your workplace is an excellent way to prevent theft. You can receive them in person, and they’ll be kept safe inside your workplace until you’re ready to take them home.


Preventing package theft is not only about protecting your purchases, but it’s also about ensuring the safety of your personal information and avoiding the hassle of dealing with stolen packages. Installing security cameras, using smart locks or in-store pickup, requesting signature confirmations, and delivering packages to work are among the measures you can take to prevent package theft.

Measure Pros Cons
Security Camera Deters thieves, footage can be used as evidence Expensive to install, might not be practical for everyone
Smart Lock Allows delivery persons access to your home, keeps packages safe inside Expensive, might not be practical for everyone
In-Store Pickup Reduces the chances of theft since you collect the package in-store May not be convenient, depending on the location of the store
Signature Confirmation Ensures that you’ll be there to sign for the package, reducing the chances of theft May not be practical for everyone, might come with additional charges
Deliver Packages to Work Safe and secure since you’ll receive them in person, reduces the chances of theft May not be practical for everyone, might not be allowed by some workplaces

When choosing the measure to prevent package theft, consider the pros and cons of each option and go with the one that suits your specific situation.

Liability of Carriers and Retailers for Stolen Packages

Package theft is a common crime that affects millions of people globally. But, is stealing packages a felony? The answer is yes; it is considered a federal crime punishable by severe penalties. However, who’s responsible for the packages you’ve bought online but did not make it to your doorstep? Here are some important things you should know about the liability of carriers and retailers for stolen packages:

  • Carriers like UPS, USPS, and FedEx are responsible for delivering packages to their destination safely. Once they deliver the packages and obtain a signature, their liability ends.
  • Retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay typically offer package protection programs to make sure that their customers’ packages arrive safely. They may refund or replace lost or stolen packages, even if they are not legally obliged to do so.
  • Some carriers offer delivery confirmation services or require a signature at delivery. These extra services can help provide accountability and ensure that the package ends up in the right hands. If a carrier does not offer such services, the retailer may request them.

If your package is stolen, it’s essential to report the theft to the carrier and the retailer as soon as possible. Some carriers may try to trace the stolen package and recover it. In some cases, they may reimburse the sender for the value of the package. Retailers may refund or replace stolen packages, depending on the circumstances.

Below is a table summarizing the liability of carriers and retailers for stolen packages:

Liability Carriers Retailers
Delivery Responsible for safe delivery Offer package protection programs
Extra Services May provide delivery confirmation or signature required services May request delivery confirmation or signature required services
Stolen Packages May try to recover or reimburse for the value of package May refund or replace depending on the circumstances

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of both carriers and retailers to ensure that packages are delivered safely to their intended destination. By taking advantage of extra services offered and reporting stolen packages promptly, consumers can help protect themselves against package theft and ensure a satisfying online shopping experience.

Statistics on package theft

Package theft has become a growing concern for homeowners and businesses alike. According to a survey conducted by the security company Shorr Packaging, about one in four Americans have had a package stolen from their front porch or doorstep. The National Retail Federation has reported that package theft costs retailers and consumers billions of dollars each year.

  • In 2019, the New York Times reported that package thefts in the US had risen by 7% since the previous year, with over 1.7 million packages stolen or lost in transit every day.
  • According to a report from the insurance company Safeco, the top ten cities for package theft are:
    • San Francisco, CA
    • Seattle, WA
    • Denver, CO
    • Portland, OR
    • Chicago, IL
    • Los Angeles, CA
    • Washington, DC
    • Austin, TX
    • Boston, MA
    • Atlanta, GA
  • The Safewise State of Safety report found that the top states for package theft are:
    • Oregon
    • Connecticut
    • New Mexico
    • Wisconsin
    • Alabama

Types of package theft

Package theft can take many forms, with some thieves being more creative than others. Here are some of the most common types of package theft:

  • Porch pirates – these are thieves who steal packages from front porches or doorsteps.
  • Delivery drivers – unfortunately, some delivery drivers have been known to steal packages while on their routes.
  • Neighbors – in some cases, packages are stolen by neighbors who happen to spot a delivery being made.
  • Organized theft rings – these are groups of people who work together to steal packages on a larger scale, often using stolen credit cards or other fraudulent methods to obtain goods.

Is stealing packages a felony?

Whether package theft is considered a felony or a misdemeanor depends on the value of the stolen goods, as well as the laws of the particular state. In some states, such as California, theft of packages worth less than $950 is considered a misdemeanor, while theft of more valuable items is considered a felony. In other states, package theft is always considered a felony.

State Value of stolen goods that qualifies for felony theft
Arizona $1,000
California $950
Florida $300
Georgia $1,500
Texas $2,500

In any case, stealing packages is a crime that can result in fines, jail time, and other penalties. The best way to deal with package theft is to take preventative measures, such as requiring a signature upon delivery, installing security cameras, and using package lockers.

Impact of Package Theft on Online Shopping

Package theft is an unfortunate reality for many online shoppers. According to a survey by Shorr Packaging, nearly one-third of Americans report having experienced package theft. This has a significant impact on both individual shoppers and the wider online shopping industry.

  • Financial Loss: The most obvious impact of package theft is financial loss for the individual shopper. If a stolen package contains expensive items, this can be a significant blow to the wallet. This can also lead to distrust in online shopping, ultimately hurting the growth of the industry.
  • Decreased Convenience: Online shopping is all about convenience, but package theft can negate this entirely. Having to track down missing packages or deal with returns and reorders can be frustrating and time-consuming.
  • Wider Economic Impact: Package theft also has a wider economic impact. Retailers may have to shoulder the cost of replacing stolen items or implementing new security measures, which may ultimately lead to higher prices for shoppers.

It’s important for online shoppers to safeguard themselves against package theft. This can include having packages delivered to a secure location or using home security measures such as cameras or alarms. Retailers can also play a role in preventing package theft by implementing stronger security measures and offering alternative delivery options, such as in-store pickup or lockers.

To fully understand the impact of package theft on the online shopping industry, let’s take a look at the numbers:

Statistic Percentage/Amount
Percentage of Americans who have experienced package theft 30%
Amount of money lost to package theft in 2019 $25 million
Projected value of the global e-commerce market by 2027 $24.3 trillion

As we can see, package theft is a serious issue for both individual shoppers and the wider online shopping industry. By taking steps to prevent package theft, we can ensure that the convenience and growth of online shopping is not hindered by criminal activity.

Technological solutions to prevent package theft

With the increasing prevalence of package theft, many companies are developing innovative technological solutions to prevent these crimes. Here are some of the most promising options:

  • Smart package lockers: These lockers are becoming more and more common in apartment buildings and commercial spaces. With a smart locker system, deliveries can be securely stored until the package recipient is ready to pick them up. The recipient receives a unique code that unlocks the locker, ensuring that only they can access their packages.
  • Package cameras: These cameras can help prevent package theft by discouraging thieves from approaching a property. If a package is stolen, the footage can be reviewed to identify the perpetrator. Some cameras even come equipped with facial recognition software, further increasing their effectiveness.
  • Smart doorbells: Smart doorbells have become popular in recent years for their ability to allow homeowners to see who is at their door remotely. They can also be used to prevent package theft by alerting homeowners when a delivery has been made. Some models can even record footage of the delivery.

In addition to these solutions, there are also more low-tech options available. For example, some homeowners have found success by requesting that packages be delivered to a neighbor who is home during the day. Others opt to have packages delivered to their workplace or a post office box. These solutions may not be as convenient as the technological options listed above, but they can be effective in preventing package theft.

If you are considering investing in a technological solution to prevent package theft, it is important to do your research and read reviews from other homeowners. Some solutions may be more effective than others depending on the layout of your property and the prevalence of package theft in your area.

Technological Solution Pros Cons
Smart package lockers Secure, convenient for package recipients Requires investment in locker system
Package cameras Deters theft, records footage for evidence Does not prevent theft outright
Smart doorbells Notifies homeowners of deliveries and visitors May miss deliveries if homeowner is not available to receive alerts

Overall, technological solutions offer a promising way to prevent package theft in an increasingly digital world. Whether you opt for a smart locker system, package camera, or smart doorbell, these innovations can go a long way in protecting your packages and giving you peace of mind.

Consequences of Receiving Stolen Packages

If you knowingly receive a stolen package, you could face serious consequences. While laws vary by state and country, here are some possible consequences to keep in mind:

  • You could be charged with a felony: In many states, receiving stolen property is classified as a felony offense, which can result in severe penalties such as lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines.
  • You could face civil penalties: If the rightful owner of the stolen package decides to sue you for damages, you could be required to pay a significant amount of money in compensation.
  • It could impact your future: A felony offense on your record can make it difficult to find employment, housing, and loans in the future.

It’s important to remember that ignorance is not a viable defense if you are caught with a stolen package. Even if you claim that you didn’t know that the package was stolen, you could still be held responsible for possession of stolen property.

If you accidentally receive a package that you suspect may be stolen, the best course of action is to contact the police immediately and turn it over to them for investigation. By doing so, you can demonstrate your good faith and avoid any legal repercussions.

What to Do If You Receive a Suspected Stolen Package

If you receive a package that you suspect may be stolen, here are some steps you can take:

  • Contact the police: Call your local police department and report the package. Provide them with any information you have, such as the tracking number and delivery date.
  • Do not open the package: Opening a package that you suspect may be stolen can make it more difficult for the police to gather evidence and investigate the crime.
  • Document everything: Take pictures of the package and any identifying information, such as the shipping label and return address.
  • Cooperate with the police: If the police want to question you or search your property, be cooperative and provide them with any information they need.

The Bottom Line

Receiving a stolen package can have serious consequences, including felony charges and civil penalties. If you receive a package that you suspect may be stolen, the best course of action is to contact the police immediately and turn it over to them for investigation. By doing so, you can avoid any legal repercussions and demonstrate your good faith.

Consequences of Receiving Stolen Packages Steps to Take If You Receive a Suspected Stolen Package
You could be charged with a felony Contact the police
You could face civil penalties Do not open the package
It could impact your future Document everything
Cooperate with the police

Is Stealing Packages a Felony? – FAQs

Q: What exactly is package theft?

A: Package theft is the act of stealing a package that does not belong to you from someone else’s front door or mailbox.

Q: What are the possible consequences of stealing a package?

A: If caught, a person could face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the value of the package and other factors in the case.

Q: Is stealing a package considered a federal offense?

A: Yes, stealing a package from the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a federal offense and can result in severe penalties.

Q: Does the value of the package matter?

A: Yes, the value of the package and other circumstances in the case can affect the potential charges and penalties a person may face.

Q: Can a security camera footage be used as evidence in a package theft case?

A: Yes, having security camera footage can be helpful in identifying a package thief and can be used as evidence in a case.

Q: What should I do if my package is stolen?

A: If you have evidence that your package was stolen, you should contact the police and the carrier who shipped the package to file a report.

Q: Can I take action to prevent package theft from happening?

A: Yes, there are several measures that can be taken to help prevent package theft such as having packages delivered to work, using a package locker or requesting signature confirmation upon delivery.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for reading our FAQs on whether stealing packages is a felony. We hope this article has been informative and helpful. Remember to take precautions to protect your packages and report any suspicious activity to ensure justice is served. Be sure to check back for more informative articles in the future!