Police: Safely complete online sales in our lobby

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. (AP) — A police department in suburban Philadelphia has created a "safe zone" for people to complete transactions they arranged online.

The Conshohocken Police Department said individuals making purchases from other people through Craigslist and other online sites are free to complete the deals in the police department's lobby or parking lot.

The idea for the safe zone came after Conshohocken Officer Steve Vallone said his wife told him she was going to another person's house to complete an online purchase. He didn't like the idea.

"I figured there's got to be a better place for people who don't know each other to complete these transactions," Vallone said. "Why not allow people to complete their online transactions from here? It seems like the perfect match."

The lobby is available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the parking lot is open for use 24 hours a day. Vallone said the lot is well-lit and has four surveillance cameras.

Police said the decision was not undertaken in response to any crimes.

A similar program was started in May by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Florida. That office said it was offering four of its parking lots for residents making purchases in a response to "safety threats for those engaging in cash transactions" involving items bought from others on the Internet or in classified advertisements.

Vallone said the department hopes to see others implement similar programs.