RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Raleigh man is warning his neighbors to be on alert after he said a check was stolen out of his mailbox. It happened about 3 p.m. Tuesday in the Harps Mill Woods neighborhood.

Zack McKee didn’t think much of it when he put a check in the mailbox to send to his dad. 

“About an hour later my neighbor came over, rang the doorbell, said a man in a ski mask and a red car came up grabbed a letter and sped off,” McKee said.

His neighbor said he caught a red SUV on his surveillance cameras. He said it stopped at McKee’s mailbox and someone, wearing a ski mask, leaned out of the passenger side and took something out of the mailbox.

Mckee said his neighbor asked if he was expecting anyone to remove anything from his mailbox. He said he “certainly wasn’t.”

Eva Velasquez, the president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center, wasn’t surprised to hear about the theft.

“Mail theft still happens now,” she said. “It doesn’t occur at the scope as a lot of these digital cyber crimes are occurring, but it is still a real threat.”

Velasquez said it’s possible for a thief to steal someone’s identity by taking certain documents from the mailbox.

“You may not think a document with your driver’s license number, maybe your health insurance or other forms of insurance, is that valuable, but it is,” Velasquez said. “It’s just like cash, it can be monetized.”

McKee reported the theft to police and warned neighbors.

“All we can do is be more vigilant and keep with our communication with the Raleigh Police Department and making sure our homeowners’ association and our Neighborhood Watch is doing everything we can,” neighbor Andrea Hall said.

McKee also said he canceled the check and notified all parties involved with the check about the theft.

Velasquez said that’s the right thing to do with a stolen check.

“As long as you take a few steps to secure that particular document, let your bank know, let the entity that you’re expecting the check was coming from know, really your risk is relatively small for it going any further than that,” Velasquez said.

When mailing documents with sensitive information, she recommends using extra caution.

“Actually drop it in a secure mailbox that’s locked or drop it off at the post office,” Velasquez said.

“We have a blue box nearby,” McKee said. “I’ll pretty much be sending everything important through that now.”