SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, Tenn. (WDEF) – The last thing anyone wants when buying something off Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace is for the transaction to go wrong.
But unfortunately it happens.
“Everything from the person doesn’t get paid. They take the item, go to the car and say, okay, let me get my money and take off and not pay them, to other people gotten robbed or hurt before,” Signal Mountain Police Detective Jim Tizzio said.
Just last month, Chattanooga Police were investigating three robberies where someone was either buying or selling items from online classified ads.
Det. Tizzio said in Signal Mountain they haven’t had any problems.
But one person recently contacted them about making a transaction at the police department.
Now, they’re letting others come and make exchanges.
“People need to be aware and make sure that they conduct themselves in a safe manner and this is just another idea to help people think about it and feel safer and it can be a deterrent also,” Det. Tizzio said.
The detective said they’re going to have one parking spot open 24 hours to use as a safe exchange zone.
It would be like CPD’s safe exchange zone.
People can pull in, make the transaction, all while the department security cameras are rolling.
“And if something does happen we have some video of the transaction,” Det. Tizzio said.
In addition to going to a safe exchange zone, Detective Tizzo also suggested that folks don’t do deals alone.
“If you don’t bring somebody, tell someone what you’re doing and where you’re going,” Det. Tizzio said.
Authorities said they’re working to get a sign for the zone, but people can already start making transactions.