An East County woman could have lost thousands of dollars if a neighbor hadn't been keeping watch.
Lorri Burnett didn't think twice before putting her mortgage payments in her mailbox.
"Obviously when we put mail out, we stick our flag up," Burnett said. "Which is obviously literally a red flag for that person who took our mail."
She was floored to get a call from a woman named Melissa, who found the envelopes ripped open and the checks gone.
"It was just tossed right back here," Melissa said. "One was directly on the other side of the tree and the other one was right over there."
"So thankful," Burnett said. "I would have had no idea."
They checked another neighbor's security camera and believe it caught a man casing the neighborhood and stealing from the Burnett's mailbox. Burnett says she believes she walked past the man on her morning walk.
"Walked right past him and knew that he didn't really live in this neighborhood," she said.
Burnett canceled the checks and alerted her bank. She says from now on, she'll use the post office.
Melissa warns everyone to keep their guard up.
"You got to know who's coming in, who's coming out," Melissa said. "And a lot of people are going to be like 'Oh you're being a rat' or something, but no, it's knowing who's coming in. It's your neighborhood."