Paicines Post Office provides after-hours lobby services

Customers have access through an app that uses Bluetooth technology to open the door during off hours.

In 2020, post offices across the nation closed their 24-hour lobby services due to an increase in vandalism and theft, according to staff at the post office in Paicines.

To combat this, Paicines became the first post office in the area to implement a technological solution.  

Post office box holders in Paicines can now download an app, Schlage’s Mobile Access, that uses Bluetooth technology to open the door. Simply putting a phone with the app installed at the control box and choosing “open” allows box holders access to the lobby. From the inside, the door is opened by a motion detector so customers can leave the lobby once they have picked up their mail. The lock was installed by Baytech of South Santa Clara County. 

Believing that having the lobby open only during business hours was not good customer service, building owner Greg Swett decided to put in a remote opening door. Gus Ruiz, a postal service spokesman for the greater Bay Area, said this step is a valuable convenience for those who want to access their box outside of public hours. He stressed the importance of security and sanctity of the mail, as well as providing a secure place where people can get their mail.  

The Paicines Post Office serves the largest geographical portion of San Benito County, covering south of Tres Pinos to the Monterey and Fresno county lines and east through Panache and New Idria to the Fresno county line. 


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Carmel de Bertaut

Carmel has a BA in Natural Sciences/Biodiversity Stewardship from San Jose State University and an AA in Communications Studies from West Valley Community College. She reports on science and the environment, arts and human interest pieces. Carmel has worked in the ecological and communication fields and is an avid creative writer and hiker. She has been reporting for BenitoLink since May, 2018 and covers Science and the Environment and Arts and Culture.