Novi residents and business owners who buy and sell on Craigslist or other exchange sites may conduct their transactions in the parking lot or front lobby of the Novi Police Department. The parking lot and front lobby are active throughout the day, monitored by staff and security cameras 24 hours a day, and are well-lit in the evening.
With the increase of contacts related to buying and selling over the Internet, a recommended safeguard is to conduct the matter in a safe location. Providing your home address to unknown persons or completing transactions in an unfamiliar area is a safety concern to the Novi Police Department.
According to a 2010 study, Craigslist had approximately 50 million users and was linked with 330 crimes, 12 murders and 105 robberies or assaults in the United States. Craigslist is only a facilitator of commerce however, and can’t be held responsible for what happens amongst its users.
Selling smaller items, such as phones, computers, cameras, coin collections or jewelry, often requires the seller to invite the purchaser to his/her home to inspect or pick up the sold item(s). Meeting in the police department parking lot helps to reduce any potential danger to the seller or the seller’s family and property.
While items cannot be stored at the police department or in the parking lot, if the item can be safely transported the seller should consider conducting the transaction at our facility.
Additional safety tips for those conducting a transaction with an unknown buyer include the following:
Only accept cash or a cashier’s check for sale. Personal checks carry some risk.
Conduct sales during weekdays so banking or financial institutions can be contacted if there is a problem.
Don’t go alone and trust your instincts.