WDBO EXCLUSIVE: Florida AG, Ashley Moody, highlights new porch piracy and retail theft legislation

Orlando, FL — Porch pirates beware!

Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 549 into law this week, which increases the penalties for retail theft, porch piracy, and looting.

“Florida is taking another step to distinguish ourselves from lawless jurisdictions and keep our residents and businesses safe,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

READ: Governor Ron DeSantis signs legislation to combat retail theft and porch piracy

The Governor was joined by Florida Attorney General, Ashley Moody, when signing the new law.

“Florida is a law-and-order state, and our policies combating organized retail theft are another shining example of how we are leading the nation,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.

On Thursday, Moody spoke on Orlando’s Morning News to further discuss the new legislation.

“We (Moody and Gov. DeSantis) are very pro-active, when we first got in office, I was pushing to strengthen our (Florida’s) retail theft laws,” said Attorney General Moody. “We wanted to make sure Florida stayed the great state we are, where we didn’t have to lock up toothpaste.”

Moody also said HB 549 helps to deter porch piracy in Florida.

“44% of Americans have had a package stolen off their porch, eight billion in one year, so we are being proactive on that,” said Moody.

READ: Governor DeSantis expedites road project in Central Florida

HB 549 does the following:

  • A third-degree felony, punishable up to 5 years in prison, if criminals commit retail theft with five or more individuals.
  • A second-degree felony, punishable up to 15 years in prison, if criminals commit retail theft with five or more individuals and use social media to solicit others to participate in the theft.
  • A first-degree felony, punishable up to 30 years in prison, if a criminal commits retail theft with a firearm or with two or more prior convictions of retail theft.
  • The ability to charge a felony for multiple retail thefts occurring in the span of 120 days, which is an increase from 30 days.

READ: Governor DeSantis implements toll relief program

HB 549 increases punishments for porch piracy:

  • Theft of property in an amount less than $40 is a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • A subsequent violation is a third-degree felony.
  • Theft of property valued at $40 or more is a third-degree felony.

Listen to the full interview with Florida Attorney General, Ashley Moody, on the Anez Sez Podcast:

Casey Wright

Casey Wright, WDBO News & Talk

Casey is a former Producer, currently a News Anchor/On-Air talent at WDBO news.

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