Who knew porch pirating was a team sport? Turns out one seasonal UPS driver in Florida teamed up with two buddies to cherry pick the best packages to steal. Turns out the seasonal driver needed a little more practice in determining when a delivery customer wasn't at home. He tipped off his friends that the coast was clear, when it wasn't, and now all three have been booked into jail on multiple felony charges, including burglary of an occupied structure and grand theft.
Seasonal UPS Driver Should Have Practiced More in the Off-Season
According to police, Okoye Manley, 28, was a uniformed seasonal UPS driver in Lake Mary, Florida. He would drop packages on the porch of UPS customers, and then send a text to Tanjinika Wright, 31, and Dekeria Wright, 26, who were driving behind him, informing them if no one was home. If the Wrights received a text, they would then go and steal the UPS package off the porch.
But unfortunately for this team of thieves, Manley perhaps needed a little more practice in determining when a customer was home. He thought no one was at the home to which he just delivered a $500 Dyson vacuum, but he was wrong, and the victim caught the whole thing on video surveillance.
Thieves Looking at Substantial Jail Time
Because someone was in the house at the time the packages were stolen, the burglary became second degree burglary of an occupied structure. And even though the theft happened on the porch, the porch is still considered "curtilage" of the home, and thus part of the home structure. This crime has a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail and $10,000 fine. So thinking no one was home was a big mistake!
Regarding grand theft, Florida considers stolen property valued between $300 and $19,999 to be second degree grand theft, with a maximum of five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. And, incidentally, Tanjinika Wright was also wanted on unrelated aggravated battery charges, so he's got that going for him too.
If you are arrested for stealing UPS packages, you could face more than being put on Santa's Naughty list this holiday season. You could be facing many years in jail and big fines. Contact a local criminal defense attorney, who may be able to get your charges reduced, and find ways to avoid maximum sentences.