Wis. police department opens lobby for Craigslist transaction

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – We all know it's “buyer beware” when dealing with Craigslist or other similar sites. The latest headlines involving Craigslist has to do with people taking advantage of buyers or sellers, or even worse much like the case of the “Craigslist Killer.”

Now a Wisconsin police department has come up with a potential solution so whether you’re buying or selling, there’s a safe space to do it.

The Milton Police Department in southern Wisconsin said its opening its lobby for people to make Craigslist transactions to prevent further crimes.

This all comes after two men were arrested in Janesville on Tuesday after holding up a father and son who were trying to sell a laptop through Craigslist.

The robbers posed as buyers and held the victims up at gunpoint in their driveway.

Police say the safe space rule can apply in just about any public location.

Officer Kyle Roder with the Eau Claire Police Department said a public space is always a safer place.

“I think it’s a good idea for anybody to use a public place and a police department lobby or a public library or even a restaurant or a gas station, things where other people are around is always a good idea when conducting transactions over the internet,” said Roder.
He said a public space gives you the added benefit of having people around, whether it is police officers or citizens in the community.

“It’s going to give you that safety and security of knowing that somebody is there if something does happen,” said Roder.

Of course, he said there are plenty of good transactions that take place through people you find on the internet, but taking safe measures doesn’t hurt.

Police lobbies like in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls also provide a safe space for other things like child custody exchanges.

“It’s something we encourage both sides in the custody situation to agree on a space that’s safe for both of them and convenient for both of them. A police department lobby is a public space during business hours so it is a space that can be used,” said Roder.

However, that doesn’t mean people should setup shop in the lobby for all of their personal business, but it’s important to know that it is an option if you do feel uncomfortable in a certain situation.

We tried contacting Craigslist on the Milton Police Department’s new safe location idea but have not heard back yet.

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