Safe Transaction Zones
Craigslist has been described as a cesspool of crime. Since 2009 there have been 45 known murders related to a Craigslist interaction and 58 accused or convicted murderers. Hundreds of robberies have occurred at transaction meetups. You can get anything online. Unfortunately, meeting strangers to exchange your goods can get you robbed or worse.
Police have labeled Craigslist crimes “robbery by appointment” because of the way criminals use the website to identify victims and schedule their opportunities to rob them. Anonymous internet meetup crimes has become so rampant that Craigslist has begun recommending meeting at police stations. It’s not just Craigslist, there are local online Facebook groups that offer Buy, Sell or Trade opportunities for people in their geographic location. Meeting a complete stranger from the internet in person can be dangerous.
In response, law enforcement across the country are creating Safe Transaction Zones. These areas are designated meetup locations. The zones are well lit, under 24 hour surveillance and often located in police station parking lots. Buyers and sellers are encouraged to use the sites as a safe area to conduct legal business.
Safe Transaction Zones are also being used as neutral meetup locations for custody and visitation exchanges between parents in contentious relationships.
Here in Louisiana there are at least three cities with meetup sites and more to come.
Morgan City at the Police Department on Myrtle St.
Baton Rouge Police Headquarters on Airline Hwy.
Natchitoches Police Headquarters on Amulet St.
All have 24 hour monitoring by camera, but police suggest you make your exchanges during the day.