Online purchases are a part of modern society. While many items are shipped to consumers’ homes, other purchases require a face-to-face meeting. This can put consumers in a vulnerable position and create opportunities for criminals. Unfortunately, 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.
Due to the risks associated with meeting strangers in unfamiliar places, police have shared a number of safety tips with potential buyers to help them protect themselves and reduce the chances of being victimized, but a recent nationwide trend takes it one step further: create an “exchange zone” directly in front of police and government facilities.
On Monday, June 27, the Sully District Police Station will roll out the county’s Exchange Zone program pilot. Two parking spaces directly in front of the government building will be designated and reserved for buyers and sellers who need to meet face-to-face to complete a sales transaction initiated on popular online websites such as craigslist or eBay. The spaces will be identified through posted signs and pavement markings. The lot is already under 24-7 video monitoring. It is the hope of the police department that the location and surveillance will increase buyers’ and sellers’ safety and promote safer and less fraudulent exchanges.
Media are invited to attend:
WHEN: Monday, June 27 at 11 a.m.
WHERE: Sully Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Boulevard, Chantilly, VA 20151
WHAT: Pilot kickoff for Exchange Zone program
CONTACT: First Lieutenant Matt Owens or Crime Prevention Officer Tara Gerhard, 703-814-7000 (press 0 at the voice prompt)