MPD urges people to use "Exchange Zones" for online buying/selling

(photo: Kevin Dooley)

(photo: Kevin Dooley)

MPD sent out a warning to residents this week, reminding people that there have been a series of robberies from people supposedly buying / selling things from online sites like Craigslist. Basically, you find a great deal, agree to meet up some place and you end up getting robbed instead of selling your old iPhone. 

This came up earlier this summer when someone was fraudulently selling an iPad, and the hopeful buyer ended up getting robbed on the 700 block of Quincy St NW instead. 

If you're going to buy or sell from online places like Craigslist, MPD urges you to be smart about it. They suggest that you never meet anyone in a non-public area or an area that is not well-traveled. Always meet in a well-lit location, with lots of people, and cameras.  Additionally, it is always best to meet during daylight hours. 

  • Never meet anyone alone
  • Never list your home address, phone number, or any other identifiable information
  • Never meet at night

Even better, MPD suggests you use one of their "Exchange Zones" located at three police stations around DC. 

  • Special Operations Division’s Harbor Patrol/ 550 Water Street, Southwest
  • Third District/ 1620 V Street, Northwest
  • Sixth District/ 5002 Hayes Street, Northeast

Related Link:

Here's their recent press release:

MPD Exchange Zone Locations Reminder
 
(Washington, DC) -  The Metropolitan Police Department would like to remind the public of our Exchange Zones and encourage exchanges to take place at the designated locations.
 
In April 2016, MPD designated three Exchange Zone areas to combat the increase of robberies stemming from online platforms. These designated areas serve as a safe place for residents and visitors to exchange and complete transactions of online purchases. In several cases, individuals in the District have been targeted after using mobile marketplace applications to buy or sell items. Afterwards, when the victim arrives, a pre-staged robbery occurs.
 
MPD strongly encourages the public to make use of the exchange zones and be especially wary of meeting people who refuse to meet at a Safe Exchange Zone location.

As a reminder, the Safe Exchange Zone designated locations are:

  • Special Operations Division’s Harbor Patrol/ 550 Water Street, Southwest
  • Third District/ 1620 V Street, Northwest
  • Sixth District/ 5002 Hayes Street, Northeast

MPD would also like to remind the public of these safety tips when selling or purchasing items from strangers:

  • Never meet anyone alone
  • Never list your home address, phone number, or any other identifiable information
  • Never meet at night

MPD will continue to focus significant resources on reducing robberies across the city. If you have any information related to a robbery or would like to submit information, you can anonymously text us at 50411 or call 202-727-9099.

Drew Schneider

Local DC blogger in Petworth, Washington DC.



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