The convenience of Christmas shopping online from a local store or a national distributor and having the item delivered to your front door also has a downside. Thieves want to steal your packages before you can open them.

These 'porch pirates', as some call them, will take a package left at or near the entry to your house without even caring what's inside.

According to an NBC/KKCO 11 News report, about 23 million US residents have had packages stolen from outside their home and that number is expected to rise significantly as more packages are being delivered during the holidays.

These thieves are bold enough to follow delivery trucks around and take the delivered packages once they determine no one is home.

The best way to avoid having items stolen are to have them shipped to your workplace, delivered to a trusted neighbor who's almost always home or only allows delivery if you're home to receive the packages.

[NBC/KKCO 11 News]