STUART, Fla.—Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 549, which increases penalties for retail theft, porch piracy, and inciting looting via social media.

Retail theft is rampant in blue jurisdictions and a growing problem throughout the country because of social media-organized looting incidents. Retailers nationwide have reported losing $112 billion in 2022 alone. Locations with the sharpest increases in theft include New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Meanwhile in Florida, shoplifting has decreased by 30% since Governor DeSantis first took office. For more information, please click here.

“Florida is taking another step to distinguish ourselves from lawless jurisdictions and keep our residents and businesses safe,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “If you steal in Florida, we will catch you and we will prosecute you.”

“Florida is a law-and-order state, and our policies combating organized retail theft are another shining example of how we are leading the nation,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “Grateful for Gov. DeSantis signing this important piece of legislation into law, as well as for the work of Rep. Rommel and Sen. Trumbull this Session to keep building a Stronger, Safer Florida.”

“Some of our most iconic cities in our country turn a blind eye to retail theft and allow it to continue, costing jobs and higher prices,” said Representative Bob Rommel. “We have also seen porch pirates target residents by stealing packages, often containing important medications, right off their property. In Florida, we are holding these criminals accountable for their lawlessness.”

HB 549 institutes the following:

  • A third-degree felony, punishable up to 5 years in prison, if criminals commit retail theft with five or more individuals.
  • A second-degree felony, punishable up to 15 years in prison, if criminals commit retail theft with five or more individuals and use social media to solicit others to participate in the theft.
  • A first-degree felony, punishable up to 30 years in prison, if a criminal commits retail theft with a firearm or with two or more prior convictions of retail theft.
  • The ability to charge a felony for multiple retail thefts occurring in the span of 120 days, which is an increase from 30 days.

HB 549 also increases the punishments for porch piracy as follows:

  • Theft of property in an amount less than $40 is a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • A subsequent violation is a third-degree felony.
  • Theft of property valued at $40 or more is a third-degree felony.




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