While many people use local parking lots to finalize online purchases and sales from sites, such as Craigslist, these transactions are all too often a setup to lure an unsuspecting victim into a robbery.
Following a string of “Craigslist-related crimes,” The AJC reports, several Georgia police departments are now offering a safe alternative to parking lot meetings for online consumers.
Georgia Police Departments Offering Safe Online Transaction Services
11 Alive lists several Georgia police departments welcoming people to use their free services when making online transactions:
Smyrna Police have a program called “Operation Safe Sale” where residents can make transactions in the Departments lobby and request a police officer be present.
Kennesaw Police advise residents to use their lobby or parking lot.
Canton Police said citizens are welcome to use their parking lot which is well lit and has surveillance cameras.
College Park Police said residents are welcome to use their parking lot and they are looking into providing a safe place in their lobby.
Riverdale Police recommend residents use their parking lot.
Morrow Police offer a safe place to meet. Citizens can go inside their building and have an officer present between the hours of 9-am and 5-pm.
Gwinnett County Police said citizens are welcome to use their parking lot or lobby and request an officer be present for the sale.
Safety Tips for Smart Online Shopping
According to The AJC, “[o]fficials across the metro Atlanta area have encouraged people to shop smart online, and to follow these tips:
- Insist on a public meeting place, such as cafe or bank or police station.
- Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home.
- Be especially careful when buying/selling high-value items.
- Tell a friend or family member where you’re going.
- Take your cellphone along if you have one.
- Consider having a friend accompany you.
- Trust your instincts.
Parking Lot Patron Rights
By law, parking lot owners are required to protect all patrons legally on the premises from any foreseeable harm. Should the property owner or management company fail to provide adequate safety and security measures, they may be held civilly liable for any injuries or wrongful deaths which occur as a consequence.
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