Robin Swanger is facing a felony charge for stealing the porch, valued at $3,000.
A man in Georgia is facing felony charges for allegedly stealing his neighbor’s entire front porch.
Robin Swanger was charged with one count of felony theft after he took a full 8-foot by 10-foot porch from his neighbor’s property in Arnco, Georgia, a small town about 40 miles outside of Atlanta.
The house was no longer on the property, but the owner said Swanger would have had to travel past several “no trespassing” signs to reach the porch.
“It’s a full-size 8×10 porch. It would be what goes onto a house for entrance and exit,” Coweta County Sheriff’s Office investigator Chris Stapler told FOX 5 Atlanta. “Very well-constructed.”
Stapler said the porch was constructed with “top-of-the-line lumber” and was valued at approximately $3,000.
The owner said that despite appearances, the property was not abandoned, and nothing was available to be taken.
“Some people may shrug their shoulders and say it’s not a big deal, but when you take someone’s property without their consent and the value of this porch is $3,000, you can’t just go and take stuff off someone’s property,” Stapler said.
Authorities had been looking for Swanger for several days for the theft and arrested him when they responded to his home for a domestic disturbance.
In addition to the porch theft, he was also charged with two counts of domestic violence, including battery, for that incident, where it was reported he got into an altercation with his wife and was throwing rocks at the house. Swanger was attempting to leave the scene when authorities arrived and arrested him.
According to the New York Post, some investigators have dubbed Swanger a literal “porch pirate.”
The term porch pirate is typically used to describe people who steal packages off others’ front porches — but in this case, the porch itself was stolen. Porch piracy has become an issue of widespread concern as online orders and delivery have become increasingly significant part of Americans’ lives.
As reported by CNBC, “porch pirate” thefts in 2022 accounted for a loss of 260 million packages, with the annual loss estimated at $19.5 billion.
“The other aspect of this crime that makes it unique and likely to continue increasing is that there’s very low risk and very low skill involved,” criminal justice professor Ben Stickle told CNBC. “It takes no skill to walk up and steal a package.”
The threat has led to the development and adoption of numerous prevention measures like various doorbell cam systems, secure package containers, and package receiving services. Those measures may not be enough, though, to stop someone determined enough to take an entire porch.
The culprit may have had a change of heart, however.
According to authorities, the porch reappeared on the property flipped upside down during the investigation. They did not say how Swanger became a suspect.
In Georgia, felony theft for property valued between $1,500 and $5,000 is punishable by up to five years in prison. Domestic violence can be considered either a high and aggravated misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether the person charged has previous convictions. Misdemeanor domestic violence is punishable by up to 12 months in prison, while felony domestic violence carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.