Gov. Ron DeSantis signs new Florida law cracking down on retail, porch theft

Retail and porch thieves will soon face stiffer penalties.


It’s the result of a new law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis today seeking to crack down on the crimes that cost American citizens and businesses billions of dollars each year in lost revenues.

DeSantis said the new law is intended to put thieves on notice in the Sunshine State.

“We are a law-and-order state. If you do the crime you are going to do the time,” said DeSantis during the bill signing Tuesday.

Criminals who steal from store shelves or off of residential porches will be faced with additional time under the new law.

Porch theft cost American consumers $19.5 billion in 2022.

The legislation enhances penalties for porch theft, making it a felony to steal property valued at $40 more off of a doorstep.

It was a penalty some Democratic lawmakers found to be too harsh during the legislative session.

“Giving somebody a felony for forty bucks? We talk about ruining somebody’s life forever?” said State Representative Diane Hart (D-Tampa) during a floor debate on the legislation.

The new law also creates new felonies for organized retail theft coordinated over social media and increases the time frame where the value of items stolen throughout repeated thefts can be combined to result in a felony.

Currently, that window is $750 over 30 days, but under the new law, it will now be $750 over 120 days.

Amanda Bevis with the Florida Retail Federation told Action News Jax in March, that with businesses losing more than $100 billion a year due to retail theft nationwide, the legislation is an important step in the right direction.

“Those stolen products are taking from the bottom line of a retail store and that impacts what they can pay their team members, what kind of prices and deals they can offer to consumers,” said Bevis.

The new penalties officially take effect on October 1st.

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