Carson residents are finally able to check their mail during off-hours after more than a month of being locked out of the lobby of the post office due to a January burglary.
For only four hours Monday through Saturday, a clerk staffs the small post office -- a one-room, panel-sided structure that's one of only three nonresidential buildings in Carson, along with the volunteer fire department and the former Poco Loco store.
It's folks like Chris Jones, an electrical contractor, who count on the lobby to be open 24 hours a day. But for the past month, he couldn't.
"The front door is locked, so we can't get in [to our boxes]," he said, noting the only time to get mail is from 9:30 a.m to 1: 30 p.m. most days.
"That's nearly impossible for me because I work. For the first couple of weeks, it wasn't that big of a deal. But I know I have bills siting in there," Jones said in a Feb. 16 interview.
The post office in Carson was burglarized in January, "during which the door that secures the post office was damaged enough that it could not be locked to keep the building secure," according to a Tuesday (Feb. 20) email from Liz Davis, a spokesperson for the U.S. Post Inspector, the branch of the U.S. Postal Service that handles criminal investigations.
"As such, the exterior doors leading to the box lobby had to be utilized to keep the post office secure when no employees were present," Davis said.
Local postmasters and supervisors told The Taos News they were not permitted to speak with the media.
While the inconvenience for Carson post office customers simmered for about a month, Peter Hass, a spokesperson for the postal service's corporate communications office in Phoenix, told The Taos News in a Tuesday email the repairs have been completed and the "lobby is again accessible to customers throughout the day."
"We apologize for any inconvenience customers experienced during that time," Hass said.
The bills Jones suspected were piling up in his post office box were there -- in great number -- when he finally checked the box this past Saturday.
The postal inspector's spokesperson noted the investigation into the original burglary is ongoing and asked anyone with information about the incident or perpetrators to contact the U.S. Post Inspection Service at (877) 876-2455.