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Relating to the punishment for the criminal offense of theft involving a package delivered to or collected from a residential or commercial property; increasing a criminal penalty.
The probable fiscal impact of implementing the bill is indeterminate due to the lack of data
or information available specifying the number of times a package to be delivered or
collected whose value was less than $2,500, was stolen from a residential or commercial
property. These data are necessary to estimate the fiscal impact of the bill's enhancement
HB 760 would increase to a Class A misdemeanor the penalty for theft of property valued at less than $2,500 that is a package that has been delivered by a common carrier, but not yet received by the addressee or has been left to be collected for delivery by a common carrier, and is stolen from a residential or commercial property. It would not be a defense to prosecution that the package is addressed to a person who is not the owner of the residential or commercial property from which the package was stolen.
Texas Action recommends opposing HB 760 as written because it infringes on limited government principles. This bill would do away with the penalty ladder for theft, and create a Class A misdemeanor for stolen property valued at less than $2,500, based solely on the fact that the stolen property was a package that was delivered by a common carrier and taken from a residential or commercial property. The victim of stolen property is no more harmed by the fact that the property was a delivered package than some other type of property that is still connected to the penalty ladder.
We recommend amending the bill to stipulate that the penalty is enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor only if it the second offense or if the offense involves theft of packages from more than one address.