The North Las Vegas Police Department is offering a designated “online sale exchange zone” in the department’s parking lot for people who buy or sell items on Craigslist, eBay and other online sites.
The move comes after a spate of robberies and assaults in which victims arranged to meet strangers they met online to complete a transaction. In at least two cases, the victims were shot.
“We’re just trying to provide a safe place for people to do their transactions,” North Las Vegas police spokesman Eric Leavitt said. “There have been too many incidents where people have been victimized.”
The designated safe zone is in the northwest corner of the police department parking lot, near the entrance to the jail. It is well lit and under video surveillance. There is also a sign that reads: “This is a safe place to conduct your online transactions.”
Leavitt said the idea for the safe zone came from police in Ohio, who implemented a similar program last year. He said he wasn’t aware of any other police departments in the Las Vegas Valley that have set up safe zones for online transactions.
Police in Ohio reported a drop in robberies and assaults after they implemented their program, Leavitt said. He hopes North Las Vegas will see similar results.
“We’re just trying to be proactive,” he said. “We want people to be safe.”