People who buy things online – from Craigslist or eBay, for example – and arrange to pick up their items in person from strangers are taking a risk. Instead of a simple transaction, these sales become an opportunity for criminals.
“Police respond to numerous reports of robberies, assaults, and thefts throughout the year, as people who just want to buy an item for a little less become unsuspecting victims,” states a notice from the Fairfax County Police Department.
Two parking spaces directly in front of the Sully Government Center in Chantilly are being designated for this purpose, with posted signs and pavement markings. The parking lot is already under 24/7 video monitoring, which should result in safer exchanges and reduce the likelihood of fraud and other crimes. If the pilot is successful, perhaps other police stations will set up exchange zones.