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Following a string of robberies associated with online purchases through Craigslist and other web sites, the Metropolitan Police Department is allowing residents to conduct hopefully more-secure transactions at three police stations across D.C.

“Several individuals in the District have been targeted after using mobile marketplace applications to buy or sell items,” an MPD release explains. “Suspects have used these online platforms to lure victims to meet them at locations to purchase or sell an item and when the victim arrives, a pre-staged robbery occurs.”

According to MPD, the three exchange zones will be located at:

  • Special Operations Division’s Harbor Patrol, 550 Water St. SW
  • Third District, 1620 V St. NW
  • Sixth District, 5002 Hayes St. NE

“The Exchange Zone will deter many of these robberies by providing well-lit areas that are near police stations, giving Washingtonians a safe place to purchase or exchange property,” MPD Chief Cathy Lanier said in a statement.

If residents feel uncomfortable conducting transactions in the presence of law enforcement, MPD advises “never meet[ing] anyone alone,” “never list[ing] your home address, phone number, or any other identifiable information,” and “never meet[ing] at night.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery