Meeting up with a stranger to buy something off Craigslist or other websites can be sketchy and even dangerous.
Recently, an army veteran was found dead in St. Louis after going to look at a used car advertised online before he disappeared.
Because of those situations, the Cape Girardeau Police Department is take a proactive stance by offering a "safe haven" inside the lobby of their building on South Sprigg Street.
This is a place where buyers and sellers can safely meet to complete their transaction in person.
People selling bigger items like a couch or a car are allowed to make their transactions in the parking in front of the building.
The police department says all public areas of the building are equipped with security camera that are monitored 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
However, the police department says it will not facilitate or be associated with the transactions.
Transactions related to weapons of any kind are prohibited at the Cape Giardeau Police Department.
Here are some tips if you choose not to use the "safe haven":
- Meet in a public place
- Do not invite strangers to your home
- Use extreme caution when buying/selling high value items
- Bring a relative or friend with you to the transaction
- Take your cell phone
- Trust your instincts. If you feel suspicious about the situation, it likely is.