It's not just a minor nuisance anymore, it's becoming a major problem all over America.

A staggeringly high number of packages stolen right off of the front steps of homes throughout the United States - an estimated 1.7 million every day, according to a study by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems in Troy, New York.

The perpetrators in this all-too-common crime even have their own label - 'porch pirates'.

The behavior of these crooks has now been studied by researchers at Middle Tennessee State Univerisity.

A recent story in Input Magazine says the study of actual videos of porch thefts shows that most of the crimes took place during daylight hours involving houses no more than 50 feet from the street.

Perhaps the most surprising finding was about the criminals themselves.

The videos reveal that slightly more than half of the package thefts (51%) were carried out by women, which is similar to shoplifting rates, but much higher than any other crimes carried out by females.

So how do you protect yourself from porch pirates?

Low tech solutions are better.

Communicating with the delivery companies about out of sight drop off sites is the best option. You might also consider having your package shipped to a location where someone is more likely to be present to receive it, like your work.

Unfortunately, high tech options like video door bells or survellience cameras haven't proven to be much of deterant.