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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday January 31 2015, @07:05PM   Printer-friendly
from the officer-friendly dept.

Lily Hay Newman reports at Future Tense that the police department in Columbia, Missouri, recently announced that its lobby will be open 24/7 for people making Craigslist transactions or any type of exchange facilitated by Internet services following a trend begun by police stations in Virginia Beach, East Chicago and Boca Raton. Internet listings like Craigslist are, of course, a quick and convenient way to buy, sell, barter, and generally deal with junk. But tales of Craigslist-related assaults, robberies, and murders where victims are lured to locations with the promise of a sale, aren’t uncommon, an item being sold could be broken or fake, and the money being used to buy it could be counterfeit. "Transactions should not be conducted in secluded parking lots, behind a building, in a dark location especially when you’re dealing with strangers. Someone you’ve never met before – you have no idea what their intentions are – whether they have evil intent or the best of intentions,” says Officer James Cason Jr. With surveillance cameras running 24 hours a day, plus the obvious bonus of a constant police presence, meeting in the lobby of the police department can help weed out people trying to rip others off. "People with stolen items may not want to meet at the police department," says Bryana Maupin.

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Saturday January 31 2015, @07:33PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 31 2015, @07:33PM (#139879) Journal

    Friend of mine buys large tools (lathes drill presses, CNC machines, etc.) from guys closing out businesses or large home shops. He finds a lot of these on Craig's list.

    He always has to inspect the machine, see it in operation, talk to the owner to see if he knows anything about it.
    He always schedules an inspection visit making it clear he will bring no money.
    If there is only one piece of equipment in the location or nothing is hooked up and running, he excuses himself and walks away most of the time.

    There really is no index of stolen property, and even with serial numbers its hard to prove the provenance of these things.

    These are largish sums of money, so they arrange electronic transfer from cell phones, paypal, or a trip to the bank together after he takes physical possession, usually with the machine already in the back of his truck.

    There are lots of things it isn't reasonable to drag into a police station.

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Snotnose on Saturday January 31 2015, @07:48PM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday January 31 2015, @07:48PM (#139882)

    I buy my weed from craigslist, doing the transaction in a police station makes me feel safer!

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    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31 2015, @08:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31 2015, @08:27PM (#139884)

      The weed vending machines in a police station usually have the best selection.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Sunday February 01 2015, @01:35AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 01 2015, @01:35AM (#139946) Journal

      Meh! I live in Washington State.

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 01 2015, @06:18AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 01 2015, @06:18AM (#139993)

    What is the percentage of fraudulent transactions vs total transactions on craigslist ? .. these kinda of places will always be misused by some people .. but whats the prevalence?

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Sunday February 01 2015, @10:32PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 01 2015, @10:32PM (#140133) Journal

      Good question.
      I suppose its pretty low. the friend of which I speak has never actually encountered any fraudulent big tool seller, but has walked away from hand tool sellers. Mostly because they didn't have the manuals and accessories.

      I've never bought or sold anything on Craigs list myself.

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