Craigslist is a great place to find inexpensive stuff, but it can also be dangerous.
The Lady Lake Police Department is offering the use of its police station lobby and parking lot for residents looking for a safe place to conduct transactions arranged online from Craigslist and other online marketplaces.
“Even though the overwhelming majority of Craigslist users are trustworthy and well-meaning, it can be unsafe and not recommended, that you give your home address to someone you don’t know,” Police Chief Chris McKinstry said.
The police station parking lot is well lit and has surveillance so that residents can feel safe exchanging your items, he said.
The Lady Lake Police Department is located at 423 Fennell Blvd., behind Lady Lake Town Hall on U.S. Hwy. 27/441.
This program is a crime prevention initiative designed to assist in reducing safety threats against those engaging in cash transactions involving items advertised on the Web or other classifieds.
A quick online search turns up story after story of Craigslist transactions turning into robberies and thefts, all over Florida. Although we have not experienced that trend yet, here is how it works: A criminal contacts the seller showing interest in an item. When the two parties meet up, the “buyer” either snatches the merchandise or takes the item by force.
The Lady Lake Police Department joins police officials from across the country and urges sellers on Craigslist to use local police department lobbies to conduct transactions.
The lobby is open Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The parking lot is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No appointment is necessary.