Afraid of being robbed during a Craigslist sale? Here are safe places to do business – SFGATE

Craigslist buyers and sellers wary of being robbed when meeting at other people’s homes or other locations have a new place in the East Bay where they can safely make transactions.
Danville police have designated an exchange zone for private-property sales of items listed on classified ad-type websites — parking spaces watched by a hidden camera outside police headquarters at 510 La Gonda Way.
Of course, police can’t guarantee your safety, but the exchange zone should deter would-be thieves.
“You can come here, exchange property, the area’s under 24-hour surveillance so if something does happen, the (police are) right here and we have surveillance of who’s involved,” said Danville Police Officer Mark Johnson told NBC Bay Area.
Police said they got the idea from the Pittsburg police, which created their own safe exchange zone in August.
A month earlier, Daly City designated an “Internet safe sale exchange zone” — two parking spots under round-the-clock surveillance directly in front of Daly City’s police station.
Daly City resident Ikenna Uwakah was shot to death Dec. 21, 2013, after he and his girlfriend met with Ronnie Collins to sell a Sony Playstation 4 video game console, which they had advertised on Instagram. Collins claimed self-defense, and his case ended in a mistrial.
Establishing property sale meetings at surveillance sites close to police is a relatively new phenomenon. The first “Safe Exchange Zone” is believed to be one started by Boca Raton police in Florida in 2014.
Since then safe trade stations have slowly sprung up across the country.
Robberies resulting from meetings set up via Craigslist or other online classified sites are rare, but going to a safe exchange zone makes them even less likely.
“We’ve had our share of Craigslist robberies, but they’re not generally a problem,” Capt. Ron Raman Raman told the Mercury News last year. “Whatever we can do to ensure our people won’t be the victim of a crime, we’re willing to do.”
Reporter Mike Moffitt has been writing and editing stories for newspapers and news websites for more than 25 years. Before joining the SFGate team, he worked at the San Francisco Examiner, Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette. He covers news, politics, science, sports, outdoors and Bay Area history.


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