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DeSantis signs law imposing tough punishments for porch pirates, retail thieves

DeSantis signed the bill inside a Walgreens.

Published: April 9, 2024 8:06pm

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed into law legislation imposing tough penalties for retail thieves and porch pirates in response to a trend of group robberies sweeping retail stores.

"Florida is taking another step to distinguish ourselves from lawless jurisdictions and keep our residents and businesses safe," he said, according to the Washington Times. "If you steal in Florida, we will catch you and we will prosecute you."

DeSantis signed the bill inside a Walgreens.

"Many leftist jurisdictions are enacting policies that ignore retail theft or even encourage it. Those policies are dead on arrival in Florida. We catch criminals and prosecute them," he said in a post on X.

The bill itself makes retail theft involving five more participants a third-degree felony, which carries a maximum of five years in prison. It further makes retail theft with a firearm a first-degree felony as well as retail theft for persons with two or more prior convictions on the charge. Either instance carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Under the plan, use of social media to solicit aid in committing retail theft will become a second-degree felony that carries that comes with a maximum of 15 years in prison.

The law is set to take effect in October.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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