Craiglist continues to grow in popularity, allowing people all over America (and internationally) to successful exchange goods with people for money. While most of the communication takes place over the internet, most exchanges happen in person, giving buyers/sellers the opportunity to hurt, take advantage, rob, and abuse.
There have been at least five cases in South Florida since June 4th where people who are selling items over the popular website are being targeted by robbers who meet up with the seller, and take everything they can. Many cities in Florida have paid attention to this growing problem, and have come up with a solution — a safe meet-up for craigslist transaction.
Announced on Tuesday of this week, The Broward Sheriff’s Office announced that it will set up shop at its Western substation. Other Florida cities, including Fort Lauderdale admit that they have no formal training, but welcome Craigslist sellers to use their stations during regular business hours to ensure safe transactions.
“It’s just a common-sense tactic and approach,” said Detective Scott Nidea of Broward Sheriff’s office. “You have to exercise common sense because you’re meeting someone you don’t know for the first time.”
Transaction turns to Violence
One incident, which took place last Sunday at 9pm, lead to violence. Neil Heckart, 29 and Clarissa Menken, 26, met with a couple in a parking lot buy a iPhone 5 for $500 dollars. Heckart and Menken drove off with the cellphone in hand, and the victim hanging halfway out the car window. According to the police record, one of the victims was slashed with a knife on his right hand and leg, and at one point Heckart yelled, “I’m going to kill you,” while the victim struggled to get away.
Heckart and Menken were arrested, after Heckart hit a palm tree and tried to speed away. When arrested, Menken was found with a list of four other sellers she was planning on “buying” from later that day. She had no money on her person.
It seems like the concept of “safe havens” for Craigslist transactions will be highly beneficial for the honest Craigslist community, and will hopefully lead to less robberies.
News Source: www.PoliceOne.com