(WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee has passed a bill that would create a new crime targeting porch pirates.

Senate Bill 527 creates a new crime (theft of mail) and “implements specific penalties for repeat offenders.”

“We must give constant attention to making sure that emerging forms of criminal activity can be prosecuted and penalized. With the growth in online shopping, the crime of porch pirating has quickly spread,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lisa Baker (R) said.

The bill was introduced in February by Senator Frank Farry (R-Bucks) who said the issue of porch pirates “continue to get worse since 2020 with the major increases and new accessibility to online/remote shopping.”

Farry noted the average value of a package stolen in Pennsylvania is $43 and that close to 2 million Pennsylvanians have experienced this crime.

The committee also passed bills addressing guardianship law and protecting individuals from the unauthorized use of electronic tracking devices.