CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say mail theft is a crime of opportunity that happens every day.

Now, it’s got a lot of homeowners in the Queen City talking.

“It was quite a shock,” said Bill Mahoney, who lives in south Charlotte. “It’s apparently becoming a bigger problem.”

Mahoney had a check stolen from his mailbox. The crooks then created a counterfeit check using his account and routing numbers. They spent nearly $1,000 at a PetSmart store in Monroe.

“This was a little more sophisticated than a prank or something like that,” Mahoney said.

A few houses down from where Mahoney lives, his neighbor posted on the social media app NextDoor. The brazen burglars stole five checks from his mailbox and went on a shopping spree at Food Lion, Walmart, and Target. And like with Mahoney, they used fake checks, too.

That’s why this year the United States Postal Service rolled out a service called Informed Delivery to curb the ongoing battle with mail theft.

“You’ll know what to expect when you go home,” said USPS spokesperson Philip Bogenberger.

A machine takes a digital scan of the address side of your mail. Then, that picture will be emailed to your USPS account.

David Pierce has been hit by mail bandits twice. Last month, he had two Amazon packages stolen.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Pierce. “Very unnerving and concerning.”