Local News

Apex police offer safe haven for online buyers, sellers

Posted January 21, 2016 4:45 p.m. EST
Updated January 21, 2016 6:41 p.m. EST

— The Apex Police Department has become the latest area law enforcement agency to set up a safe zone to complete online sales or purchases.

A group of parking spots outside the department has been designated as the "Internet Purchase Exchange Location."

"This gives them a place to feel safe and secure and not give out their personal information. It's video monitored 24 hours, 7 days a week," Capt. Ann Stephens said.

In addition to security cameras, officers who park nearby add an extra layer of security.

Cindy Saraga often buys items through Craigslist to sell in her Southern Home Crafts store, and she said she sometimes gets nervous meeting people to close a purchase.

"I've had my son go with me a couple of times, just in case," Saraga said.

Pam Thorpe said she's also had difficulty buying items for The Rusty Bucket home accessories store.

"I've actually bought things before, and it's been a scam," Thorpe said, adding, "I'm a little wary of someone coming to our house that I don't know."

The response to the Apex Police Department's new service has been overwhelmingly positive on Facebook, and Stephens said it's just another aspect to policing in the 21st century.

"It has now become a big thing for people to buy and sell their things online, and so we've got to get involved and make sure they can do that comfortably and safely, and this is the simple way to do it," she said.

The sheriff's offices in Durham and Orange counties and police departments in Garner, Hillsborough and Southern Pines also offer the service.

"There's a sense of security of knowing you're in a public place and especially at the police department," Thorpe said.