Report Title:

Mail Theft

Description:

Establishes the offense of mail theft as a class C felony.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2936

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to the offense of theft of mail.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the theft of mail from residential and post office boxes has increased one hundred forty per cent in Hawaii over the past two fiscal years, according to police and United States Postal Service investigators. Mail theft is often the primary source for personal information such as birth dates and Social Security numbers, information subsequently then used to commit the growing number of identity theft, fraudulent use of credit cards, or forgery crimes. Honolulu police report that they receive between twelve to thirty complaints daily relating to identify theft crimes. In addition, Hawaii is experiencing a serious methamphetamine, or "ice", addiction crises and authorities believe that mail theft often provides addicts with income to buy their drugs. The legislature finds that establishing the offense of mail fraud will assist law enforcement officers in reducing mail theft, and correspondingly, will contribute to a reduction in Hawaii's "ice" addiction crises and its related crimes.

The purpose of this Act is to establish the offense of theft of mail as a class C felony.

SECTION 2. Chapter 708, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"708- Theft of mail. (1) A person commits the offense of theft of mail if the person:

(a) Intentionally and without claim of right removes mail from a mail depository;

(b) Intentionally and without claim of right takes mail from a mail carrier;

(c) Obtains custody or possession of mail by intentionally deceiving a mail carrier, or other person who rightfully possesses or controls the mail, with a representation known to be false, made with the intent to deceive a mail carrier or other person who possesses or controls the mail;

(d) Intentionally and without claim of right takes mail or the contents of mail that has been left for collection on or near a mail depository; or

(e) Receives, possesses, transfers, buys, or conceals mail obtained pursuant to paragraph (a), (b), (c), or (d), knowing or having reason to know that the main was obtain illegally.

(2) For the purposes of this section, unless the context requires otherwise:

"Mail" means a letter, postal card, package, bag, or other sealed article addressed to another.

"Mail depository" means: a residential or commercial mailbox, letterbox, mail receptacle; or any mail receptacle, office, station, or service vehicle of the United States Postal Service.

(3) Theft of mail is a class C felony.

(4) A person convicted of committing the offense of theft of mail shall be sentenced in accordance with chapter 706, except that for the first offense, the court shall impose a minimum sentence of one year imprisonment and a fine of $1,000."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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