NEW CITY - People living in New City say they are scared to put outgoing mail in their mailboxes after recent mail thefts.

Normally, the little red flag on a mailbox means there's outgoing mail that needs to be picked up. When Anita Irwin put the flag up, it signaled to thieves that there was mail to be stolen.

Whoever stole the mail found a $57 check Irwin had written for her car insurance. Thieves used chemicals to clean her writing and changed it into a check for $4,200.

Fortunately, her bank caught the fraud before Irwin lost any money, and two people have been arrested in New Rochelle, apparently with gang connections.

The suspects were caught, in part, because another neighbor saw someone stealing bill payments from the mailbox outside another home two houses away from Irwin.

Tampering with a mailbox or its contents is a federal crime.