The Neptune Beach Police Department would like to remind you to be safe when making and paying for any online transactions, such as Craigslist. Chief Richard J. Pike invites you to consider the Police Department lobby as a location to carry out exchanges resulting from online transactions. The Neptune Beach Police Department Lobby is open 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year. You can come into the lobby and have a safe place to conduct your transactions.
We encourage our residents to use our lobby as a safe place to conduct transactions when meeting someone from an online site to buy or sell items. Please be aware that transactions for the sale, or purchase, of weapons is strictly prohibited at the police department.
We hope that by using our lobby to conduct transactions it will take any worry or fear of being a victim of a crime from our residents. If the buyer/seller knows that you are meeting at the police department and they had possible criminal activity in mind, this will be a deterrent for them. Our goal is to give our residents a safe place and peace of mind when conducting face to face transactions.
Our officers will NOT verify and/or authenticate any item for sale or interact in the transaction (provided peace is maintained and no criminal activity is observed).
There are a growing number of sites on the internet, including through social media, where deals can be found and purchases can be made. Therefore, many Police departments are offering their lobbies and parking lots as exchange zones for online transactions.
According to a 2015 article in Reuters, between 2009 and June 2014 there have been 49 killings connected to Craigslist postings. The following are just a few examples of incidents where buyers/sellers were victimized while conducting a face to face transaction that originated online.
— In January, a couple who said they wanted to buy a 1966 Mustang were shot in McRae, Georgia, allegedly by a man who answered their ad.
— A month later, a 21-year-old college student was robbed and fatally shot in Marietta, Georgia, after he responded to an ad to buy an iPhone.
— In March, a pregnant woman responding to an ad to buy baby clothes in Longmont, Colorado, was stabbed and her fetus pulled from her womb, allegedly by the woman who placed the ad. The woman survived, but the fetus died.
— In May, a 19-year-old Illinois college student trying to sell his sports car was killed. Authorities charged a man they say responded to the student's ad.
In addition to violent crime, countless individuals are the victims of fraud at the hands of criminal predators. According to FBI statistics, in 2014 there were 269,422 reports of online crime. This program would help reduce fraud and provide a safe environment for the citizens.
PLEASE BE SAFE AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS PROGRAM