KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A number of law enforcement agencies in the Kansas City area are offering a safe space for online purchases and sales.
Local departments are encouraging people buying and selling online to meet up outside police stations to wrap up those transactions.
It’s something Marvin Hamilton wishes he had done.
“He did this to me, and told me to give him my stuff,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he meets people at an east Kansas City gas station often, buying and selling items online. But Monday night’s meeting turned into a scary incident.
A man he met at the pumps wanted to sell Hamilton his car. The man asked Hamilton to follow him home to get the title.
“He popped the hood, and he pulled out a gun and robbed me,” Hamilton said.
Kansas City police reports show the man made off with Hamilton’s motorcycle helmet and a pocketful of cash.
“I’ve learned not to trust people,” Hamilton said. “If you’re going to do something like that, go somewhere safe.”
It’s why various metro police departments are promoting safe spaces for internet exchanges — designated parking spots outside police stations that have security cameras nearby. Police said online purchases seem to be more common during the summer.
“If they feel uneasy about a sale or a meeting, they can come to that location,” Overland Park police spokesman John Lacy said.
Lacy said the lobby of Overland Park police headquarters is even available during business hours. It has microphones and cameras recording.
He said if someone wants to avoid meeting at the police station, that should be a red flag.
“If you want to conduct your business at night, we still have it out there,” Lacy said. “Those cameras are taping. It’s very good visuals. We get a copy of the two license tags that are pulling in to do their exchange.”
The internet exchange spaces are free to use. Lacy said sometimes parents doing custody exchanges also use them.
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