Toledo police offer safe haven for online Craigslist transactions

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Toledo police want you to stay safe. The department has set up a safe place for customers to carry out online purchases. The Online Exchange Zone is located at the Toledo police departments Scott park district station at 2301 Nebraska avenue.

On Craigslist you can buy electronics and cars. Bowling Green student Greg Harris uses it all the time, but says he puts his safety first before the hand off.

"It's always in cash, in person and in a public place. I guess those are my three rules," said college student Greg Harris.

The Toledo police department is offering it's lobby and it's parking lot at Scott park as a safe haven for online shoppers. It's becoming a national trend. Sgt. Joe Heffernan says officers will not be involved in the transactions or oversee them. He says eyes will be watching.

"It's going to be covered by our cameras that are out here in the lot and we will have an officer inside the station 24 hours a day," said Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan.

Toledo's recorded it's fair share of Craigslist robberies. According to this police report in January two men tried to sell a playstation.

"Two gentleman respond to the add to go buy it and when they met up in the middle of the block turned in to a armed robbery," said Sgt. Heffernan.

It didn't end there.

"The victims followed the suspects and rammed their car causing a major accident on Monroe street weapons were found in both vehicles," said Sgt. Heffernan.

The vehicle crashed at Monroe and North Cove. Police hope the new Online Exchange Zone will help to deter robberies. So people like this college student won't be afraid to shop online.

"My family is like always warning me don't buy things off Craigslist because it's dangerous. You can go to someone's house and you never knows what happens some people have been killed over things like that. So I think it's a really good idea to have a safe meeting point," said college student Kayla Hensley.

When you show up at the police department pay close attention to the signs. There are no weapons allowed on the property. Oregon PD is following Toledo. Chief Mike Navarre says he ordered signs last week and their Online Exchange Zone will open soon.

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