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CRAIGSLIST DEALS: Police Offer Safe Exchange Space

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The Ankeny Police Department is offering up its parking lot as a safe place to conduct Craigslist transactions.

The department hopes the move will lessen the likelihood of falling prey to scams by buyers and sellers in online exchange sites.

The department says Ankeny residents and business owners can use the lot and it is monitored by security cameras 24 hours a day and is well-lit in the evenings.

“Moving the sale to the police department parking lot can also cut down on the exchange of counterfeit money and the possibility that the buyer is at a private residence to evaluate the area before committing a crime,” says Police Chief Gary Mikulec.

"That's a place I hadn't even thought about, but it makes sense, total sense to go to the ultimate public place that is safe," says Ankeny resident and Craigslist user Dawn Stohs.

Stohs knows the basic do's and don'ts of buying and selling online.  For starters, she never does business when she's home alone and she makes sure all items are out in the garage or driveway.

"You're always leery of people coming to your house," she says.

Police are also offering some tips to those making transactions:

  • take a picture of the vehicle and license plate of the person you’re conducting business with
  • only accept cash or a cashier’s check
  • do business during the week day so financial institutions can be contacted if there are issues with payment


  • Jess

    What a great idea! Sad that it has to come to that, but, at least this offers a safe place. I’ve always done my Craigslist transactions in a public place, but, I believe the two mean just recently robbed were in a church parking lot!

  • OHMY

    Years ago, while driving downtown on a Saturday night (looping). I was aware that someone was following me as I headed toward home, so I drove a round a bit and then led them right into the Des Moines Police Station parking lot. No more stalker.

  • William Denison

    Will this parking lot be a safe place for me when I meet a two ton tillie from the personal ads section on craigslist? Is there a escape route?

  • Jess

    Wow! RoccoB! racist much?!?

    Some of the most intelligent, well-mannered people in my office of professionals happen to be black. I hesitate to use the term ‘African American’ because I do not know where their ancestors come from.

    I have also meant some pretty low-life scum that were white! It’s not the color of the skin, it’s the strength of character.

      • Jess

        Racist slang for a white woman who dates black men. I had to look it up on the internet. You are probably too good of a person to know the word, truth hurts.

        RoccoB is a worthless piece of racist trash. Judge people for what they are, not what they look like.

      • RoccoB

        Spare us the MLK- bleeding heart drivel.
        You’ve never been mugged, had your once nice schools ruined, or saw your property values drop like the 1929 stock market have you?
        Live that and then get back to us toots.

  • Jess

    Well RoccoB, our WHITE neighbors broke into our garage, bummed cigarettes off of their kids who were 10 and under and generally ran the entire neighborhood down. The color of their skin didn’t make the damage any less.

  • seeshel101

    Can there be any news artical without someone going off topic and someone making a remark that has nothing to do with the artical, then someone calling “troll” then bad mouthing for at leat 5posts that the rest of us must suffer through, then something racial comes out, then someone defending the racial comment usually with “some of the best I know are…” Then we have the statistic person show up with some study or another about what damage, evil, or whatnot is done by minorities? Seriously people please grow up! Stick to the story. It’s pretty simple you can either use the parking lot or not, you like the idea or hate it. Or discuss your experience with craigslist. Oh… I’m also awaiting the grammar corrector and the person that will be talking about someone hiding begin a fake name. I think we will miss seeing the “horribly written artical, a two year old writes better” person today.

    • Just Don't Look

      while you make some valid points, you don’t have to ‘suffer through’ anything. I highly doubt anyone is sitting beside you forcing you to read all of the responses on the blog.

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