Bill Text: NJ S3496 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Upgrades unlawful taking thefts in certain instances; requires penalties of restitution and community service.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-21 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee [S3496 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S3496-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3496

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 21, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Senator  JOSEPH P. CRYAN

District 20 (Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Upgrades unlawful taking thefts in certain instances; requires penalties of restitution and community service.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning theft and amending N.J.S.2C:20-3 and supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    (New section)  This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Defense Against Porch Pirates Act."

 

     2.    N.J.S.2C:20-3 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:20-3. Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition.

     a.    Movable property.  A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully takes, or exercises unlawful control over, movable property of another with purpose to deprive him thereof.

     b.    Immovable property.  A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully transfers any interest in immovable property of another with purpose to benefit himself or another not entitled thereto.

     c.    A person who commits theft in violation of subsection a. of this section by taking a package delivered to a residential property by any cargo carrier shall be guilty of a fourth degree crime if the amount taken does not exceed $200.  If the amount taken exceeds $200, the person shall be guilty of a crime one degree higher than the underlying offense.

     d.    Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3 and in addition to any other fine or penalty imposed, a person who commits theft in violation of subsection a. of this section by taking a package delivered to a residential property by any cargo carrier shall be sentenced to make restitution and shall be sentenced to perform community service for a period of up to ten days.

(cf: P.L.1978, c.95, s.2C:20-3)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     Currently, theft by unlawful taking under N.J.S.A.2C:20-3 is a theft offense that is graded by the value of the property taken.  Package theft from residences is a crime punishable under N.J.S.A.2C:20-3 as an unlawful taking offense. 

     This bill, which shall be known as the "Defense Against Porch Pirates Act," increases the penalties for unlawful taking when that taking targets a package delivered to a residential property by any cargo carrier.  "Cargo carrier" is defined broadly in subsection w. of N.J.S.A.2C:20-1. Under the bill, a person who commits theft by taking a package delivered to a residential property by any cargo carrier shall be guilty of a fourth degree crime if the amount taken does not exceed $200.  If the amount taken exceeds $200, the person shall be guilty of a crime one degree higher than the underlying offense.  Additionally the bill provides in new subsection d. that restitution shall be ordered in these cases and a period of community service shall be imposed of up to 10 days.  These penalties are permissible option for the sentencing judge in any criminal offense.

     It is the sponsor's view that while theft of packages may be more commonplace during the holiday shopping season, it is a serious crime that can occur at any time and can result not only in the loss of consumer purchases but also in the loss of medication, legal documents and other important items delivered to homes, and thus warrants more stringent penalties than other types of theft by unlawful taking offenses.

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