Springettsbury Township Police Department offers safe zone for online shoppers

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SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Buying and selling on websites like craigslist can offer good deals, but dealing with someone you've only communicated with online can also be dangerous.

Police departments are offering safe places for people to meet who buy or sell items from sites like eBay or craigslist. The Springettsbury Township Police Department set up a safe zone outside of its station earlier this month. Sgt. Brian Wilbur said they got the idea from social media.

"We actually got a suggestion from one of our residents through our Facebook page," Wilbur said. "They had saw a similar idea from one of the departments in the eastern part of the county."

The zone is in the last two parking spaces in front of the station. The police said their lobby is also available, and meeting at the station is safer than a gas station or grocery store.

Officers aren't involved in the transaction. Instead, surveillance cameras monitor the area. Shoppers said they would feel more comfortable meeting someone at a police department.

Jared Hollinghead, who lives in York, said "We actually got a suggestion from one of our residents through our Facebook page. They had saw a similar idea from one of the departments in the eastern part of the county."

Brandy Sprenkle, who lives in Manchester, said, "To have somewhere safe would actually be really nice that way they could not worry about having someone go with them that's a male because girls shouldn't feel scared."

The people involved in the transaction don't have to set up an appointment or call ahead to use the safe zone. Authorities suggest buyers and sellers meet during daytime hours, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wilbur said, "So far it's a positive response. We'll have to see how it works out here."

Springettsbury Township police said they don't want transactions happening after 10 p.m. and ask that neither party brings firearms.

 

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