Stories about people being ripped off when they meet someone to complete a sale arranged privately online are all too common, and Morrisville police have set up a camera-monitored spot at their headquarters where deals can be done safely, the town announced Thursday.
There are now what the town calls Internet Exchange Locations – spots in front of the station at 2600 C Town Hall Drive where video cameras will record what happens when a seller and buyer meet to complete a transaction arranged on Craigslist, Offer Up or other social media sites.
“With the increasing popularity of buying and selling [via] apps, we felt it was important to provide our residents, or those in the area, with a safe place to make a purchase or sell an item,” said Police Chief Patrice Andrews.
Police departments have long encouraged people to complete transactions during the day, if possible, and in public places where they are visible and criminals are less likely to steal a buyer’s money or worse.
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“We encourage residents not to meet strangers at their homes or an unfamiliar place. Our Internet Exchange Location provides a safe, video monitored place for these transactions to take place,” Andrews said.
Morrisville also will send an officer to a location where a transaction is going to happen if one of the parties calls 919-463-1600 ahead of time.
Morrisville also posted a slideshow on the police department’s Facebook page explaining the new program.