Niskayuna ‘Safe Zone’ Proposed For Internet In-Person Exchanges
Niskayuna Town Board Member Denise Murphy McGraw has proposed the establishment of an “internet purchase exchange location” according to News 10.
With Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other online sales that take place in-person it only makes sense to establish a safe place to make an in-person internet exchange.
Every year there are stories about people being robbed or worse when they have met up with someone they didn't know to sell or buy something that they made a deal on online. It can be a dangerous situation. One man in Halfmoon found that out when he tried to sell a laptop online. Allegedly Loren Hull of Halfmoon agreed to meet up with a man selling a laptop, but when they met up for the exchange Hull pulled out what appeared to be a gun and stole the laptop, and ran. He was arrested a short time later and luckily the gun turned out to be a BB gun according to The Daily Gazette.
This type of crime happens a lot. A friend of mine met an online buyer in an apartment complex parking lot to sell a cellphone. When the buyer showed up he asked if they could sit in my friend's car while he checks out the cellphone since it was cold out. My friend agreed, but when they got in the car the buyer pulled out a gun, demanded the phone, my friend's keys, wallet, and then stole his car. That thief was arrested the next day.
In the past anytime I was meeting someone that I didn't know to buy or sell something I would ask them to meet at the State Police post near my house. If they didn't want to meet there, I canceled the deal because I knew something wasn't right.
If the proposed "Safe Zone" passes, it will be two parking spaces at Niskayuna Town Hall near the police station entrance that will be under video surveillance 24 hours a day.
In the past, the Albany Police Department has said that their parking lots and lobby of their police stations are available for face-to-face transactions.