Craigslist robbery raises "safety zone" concerns - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Craigslist robbery raises "safety zone" concerns

Nick Jordan, Dumas Police Department Nick Jordan, Dumas Police Department
Sergeant Brent Barbee, Amarillo Police Department Sergeant Brent Barbee, Amarillo Police Department

Amarillo, TX -  An Amarillo robbery over the weekend has some online purchasers on edge after the victim & robber met on Craigslist.

Online purchases are becoming more and more normal in this day and age...as are crimes involving those transactions.

So you really want that diamond ring you saw on Craigslist, but you aren't sure about the person selling it to you. Well, officers around the country are now offering "safe zones" to allow those exchanges to happen in a safer environment.

While some departments in the area are utilizing the tool...others simply do not see the need.

"We have a large presence of online sales through Craigslist and facebook sites such as for sale in Dumas," says Nick Jordan with the Dumas Police Department. "There's two of those. And then we have the other sites from the surrounding communities...for sale in Borger, Stinnett, Pampa, Amarillo so it's a pretty large presence."

"We don't have this at this point," says APD Sergeant Brent Barbee. "Fortunately this is not a really common crime here, so maybe that's why the subject hasn't come up before. If it starts to happen with some regularity, there may be some more discussion of it."

Dumas police get calls regularly with questions about where locals can meet to exchange with people they've never met. The location is in the front area of the Moore County sheriff's office.

In addition to this area, officers offer another service.

"If we have officers available and somebody was going to meet somewhere and wanted to civil standby, we'll have an officer that'll do that...they won't get involved in the transaction in any way they stay completely out of it. They're there for security purposes only," says Jordan.

And while APD does not have a designated "safe zone" location, there is a reason for it.

"We don't have anything like that here and certainly we are open to an idea however whenever you start looking at ideas like that, you have to look at the negative part which is...does it expose the city to any liability risk and does that even absolutely guarantee safety," says Barbee.

Both Barbee and Jordan remind the public that going with another person for the exchange is a good idea.

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