Selling that sofa online? Think about going to the cop shop

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BOSTON (AP) — More than 100 police departments nationwide provide space in their lobbies or parking lots where people who've made deals to sell merchandise online can know police are only feet away if something goes wrong.

A few departments began offering safe zones two or three years ago. Their popularity exploded this year after several high-profile killings as deals made on Craigslist were carried out.

Michele Velleman has sold a Zumba dance fitness kit, a cellphone and a table online and made the transactions at the police station in her town of Georgetown, Massachusetts.

She says "I think my mother is happier I'm doing it this way."

Most police departments don't get involved in the transactions. But in Fulshear, Texas, police will check databases of stolen goods for anyone who requests it.