BATH TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW) – Bath Township police warned residents to be extra cautious following numerous reports of mail theft in the past week.

“It’s very surprising. Obviously we’ve come to rely on depositing mail in post office boxes and believe them to be secure,” said Chief Vito Sinopoli.

According to Sinopoli, a bank notification alerted the latest victim that a check she had mailed through an outside collection box was stolen, altered, processed and then debited from her account.

“We received two additional reports from residents about the same thing. The common connection is an exterior USPS collection box,” said Sinopoli.

Bath Police said the department is working closely with the U.S. Postal Inspector’s Office on the investigation.

Meanwhile, the chief encouraged residents to bring any outgoing mail directly inside the post office.

“It’s difficult to say where the compromise took place, at what hours it took place. Right now, it’s wide open,” said Sinopoli.

Across Northeast Ohio, mail theft is becoming an issue. In fact, some local police departments recommended people avoid using external collection boxes as well as home mailboxes.

Bath police also recommend people use gel pens when writing a physical check and set up alerts with your bank when a check is processed beyond a certain amount.