Exchange Online Purchases in Person at Police Department’s ‘Safe Zone’
Stafford Township Police Chief Thomas Dellane has announced a new “Internet Safe Exchange Zone” where citizens can complete internet sales transactions safely in person. The police department has designated two parking spaces in a well-lit area under 24-hour surveillance at the Stafford Municipal Complex, located at 260 East Bay Ave.
Given the changing shopping trends of many Americans in the last few years, he said, nowadays many local residents utilize eBay, Craigslist and other buy-and-sell websites to make internet transactions, which are easy and convenient but also have created new opportunities for criminals. In recent years the police department has investigated several instances where residents were defrauded, the chief added.
“Problems arise when people have to pick a location to conduct the exchange. Meeting someone at your home or in an unfamiliar area can be problematic and potentially expose people to being victimized. We recommend meeting in a safe, neutral location,” Dellane said.
“Most people agree to meet in a busy shopping center parking lot,” Community Policing Officer Christopher Fritz noted. “Having made several internet transactions myself, it can be a little worrisome to exchange cash in an uncontrolled or unmonitored environment.”
The so-called Internet Commerce Safe Zone area is clearly marked with signage and painted spaces located on the east side of the municipal building. There is a 15-minute parking limit. Residents with questions or concerns can contact Fritz at 609-597-1189, extension 8406, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. —V.F.