The U.S. Attorney in Utah wants would-be mail thieves to know they could face federal prison time and hefty fines as the office works to increase prosecutions.
Mail theft has always increased during the holidays. But with the arrival of ecommerce, more packages are being delivered year-round. In the last few months, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Utah added two prosecutors dedicated to this particular crime. U.S. Attorney John Huber hosted a press conference with other state and local law officials Friday to highlight some recent indictments of mail thieves.
“The message I would like to bring is two-fold,” Huber said. “One is to first and foremost our law abiding community and that message is that there are people, trained, skilled professionals who will find these Grinches who come to steal the packages off of our front porches and we will hold them accountable."
Mail thieves face up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said these thieves are often trying to steal identities.
“The repercussions of this devastate lives,” Winder said. “We’re not talking about teddy bears taken. We’re talking about people’s lifetimes of accrued wealth and good nature that are stolen in a heartbeat.”
U.S. Attorney John Huber offered as examples, and as warnings, four separate cases filed in U.S. District Court recently. One woman stole three packages that included a DVD, cat litter boxes and bedding. She’s facing three mail theft charges.