Mail thieves would face state penalties under Michigan Senate bills

Swiping mail or packages from the rightful owner would be a misdemeanor or felony at the state level under a bill currently being considered by the Senate.

Stealing or otherwise tampering with mail is already a federal crime, but enforcement is often limited to the most egregious examples, and supporters of stricter penalties say the promise of easy profits with little fear of jail time has only exacerbated the problem in recent years.

The latest versions of Senate Bills 23 and 24 would make mail theft a state crime, with the first offense resulting in a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, up to a $500 fine or both. Subsequent offenses or cases where fraud is involved would carry harsher penalties and be classified as a felony, with the second offense punishable up to five years in jail, up to a $1,000 fine or both, and a third offense carrying up to $10 years, up to a $2,000 fine or both.

Theft of mail delivered by both public and private carriers would be covered by the legislation.

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