MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – The popularity of mobile classified sales apps is prompting the Mobile Police Department to urge citizens to use its designated Internet Purchase Safe Exchange Zones when buying from and selling to others locally.
"Throughout the city we have about 5, maybe 6 different locations where you can meet with individuals that you meet on the internet, to sell, buy items, any type of cell phones or gaming consoles," said Sgt. Laderrick Dubose.
Using a safe exchange zone helps prevent becoming a victim of a crime such as a robbery, the MPD says.
"At our safe zones we have it where the both of you are there, there's video evidence that the transaction took place. There's also another element of security for both parties to make sure they're not being robbed by the other," Dubose explained.
On Friday, August 16, at approximately 4:55 p.m., police responded to the 800 block of Wildwood Drive after the report of a robbery of an individual. According to police, the victim arranged to meet someone through the app LetGo. The victim was meeting the subject to purchase a cell phone. The victim stated when the transaction was complete the male subject snatched the phone back and fled in a vehicle that nearly struck her as he fled.
Setting up Internet Purchase Safe Exchange Zones is a way the Mobile Police Department helps keep citizens safe when they need a meeting place to complete the deal on items offered up for sale online, the MPD says.
The Internet Purchase Safe Exchange Zones are clearly marked in the parking lot at police stations and at police headquarters. Sgt. Dubose said at each location, the areas are well lit and monitored with surveillance cameras.
All locations are now available:
- Headquarters – 2460 Government Blvd
- Precinct 1 – 850 Virginia Street
- Precinct 2 – 5441 Hwy 90
- Precinct 3 – 2165 St. Stephens Road
- Precinct 4 – 8080 Airport Blvd
- Western Administrative Complex – 4851 Museum Drive
"I just would encourage anyone that's going to go out to make any type of business transaction via the internet or however they decide to do it, to think twice, use one of these safe zones," Dubose added.
Dubose added, it's also a good and safe place for child exchange.