It’s become the new normal – listing items for sale online on sites like Craigslist or on one of the dozens of apps available in the app store.
The chance of something going wrong with the transaction is always a possibility however, something that scares people like Claire May who lives in Lompoc.
“I was concerned about meeting up with strangers especially if there’s a female in the family that’s doing with their young children and have somebody come up and try to hurt her or try to take one of the children or something, I’ve read about this happening in other parts of the country,” May tells us.
Lompoc police have now found a solution to that, creating a “Meetup Spot” outside of their police station.
The location is under continuous surveillance and is available 24-7.
“I’m grateful that the police department is doing this for us!,” says May.
For the Vallejo family however, they say they buy and sell things on Facebook all the time and they don’t see themselves using the spot.
“Sometimes we meet here in the parking lot of Walmart or sometimes from our house and we’ve never had any problems,” explains Eduardo Vallejo.
Vallejo tells us the Facebook groups he’s a part of to buy these goods are hard to get into, potentially weeding out anyone who might do them harm.
Vallejo says he’s lived in Lompoc for years and believes the city is a safe place.”I know it’s got this “Lompton” kind of scary place but that’s to outsiders; I’ve lived here for a long time and I’ve never felt unsafe,” he explains.
Update by Melissa Newman
Exchanging internet purchases just got a whole lot safer. The Lompoc Police Department designated a “Meetup Spot” at the front of their police station.
This “Meetup Spot” is meant to provide safer internet purchase exchanges by the community.
The location at 107 Civic Center Plaza is available anytime of the day or night for the public’s use, and is under continuous surveillance by police.
Exchanging items for purchase with strangers can be a risky move because neither the buyer or seller know who they’re dealing with.
“Our Lompoc Police Department is a location away from a person’s home where Internet purchase exchanges can be made in a neutral and safer environment,” Walsh added. “We encourage our community to take advantage of this resource, as well as to use caution and good judgment when buying and selling items online.”
Anyone who experiences issues with their item exchanges will have quick access to the police station’s lobby during business hours–8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.