After a spate of frightening crimes this summer, the Seattle Police Department has urged caution when meeting and selling through apps like OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace.
Two robberies in August were related to online sales meetups, and three people reported being robbed at gunpoint in June during meetups planned on OfferUp, the Seattle Times reported.
Detectives urge the public to use caution when meeting buyers/sellers in online sales. Two robberies in August were related to OfferUp/FB Marketplace meetups. For your safety, SPD’s South, Southwest and North Precincts have publicly accessible parking lots where you can meet. https://t.co/tWE9Gmmb0a
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) September 9, 2021
Seattle Police named OfferUp and Facebook in a tweet, and urged app users to conduct their transactions at designated safe spots in police station parking lots.
For years, the AIM Group has championed this very concept, hosting a program called Safe Trade Stations. About 400 police stations around the country have signed up, getting advice and special signage to mark safe meeting points on their premises.
OfferUp, based in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, undertook a similar initiative in 2017, Meet Up Spots, which we reported on here.