Safe zone for online transactions set up in Port St. Lucie

Port Saint Lucie Police implemented a safe zone for people purchasing items through phone apps and craigslist. (WPEC)

Port Saint Lucie Police implemented a safe zone for people purchasing items through phone apps and craigslist. Police encourage individuals meeting with strangers to buy or sell something to meet at the safe zone.

The safe zone is a few feet from the police department’s main entrance and is monitored on surveillance cameras 24/7.

Port St. Lucie resident Shamora Carter is no stranger to apps like OfferUp and LetGo, connecting neighbors to buy and sell merchandise.

“When I was younger, I had a phase where I needed everything single iPhone. I would sell mine and buy a new one,” Carter said.

Now, she is looking to score a great deal for her baby on the way. However, she's hasn't been scrolling through this app lately. Carter sent cash to a scammer a few years ago through craigslist.

“Ultimately, I felt broke and sad,” Carter said, but she’s confident that won’t happen again.

Port Saint Lucie police implemented a new 'Safe Zone' for people making purchases through an online app.

New cameras monitor the area 24 hours a day.

“They can see if there is any activity that's going on out by the exchange,” said Port Saint Lucie Master Sergeant, Frank Sabol. The safe zone is feet away from the departments main door.

“So if anything happens at least there is help right there but I don't think anyone would be dumb enough,” Carter said.

If you still don't feel comfortable outside the police department building, you are welcome inside, where someone is staffed at all times.

Some Municipalities who promote safe exchanges at their stations:

  • Boca Raton Police Lobby (8 a.m – 6 p.m.) or parking lot.
  • Delray Beach Police - Residents could use lobby. If it is closed, they could request an officer to accompany you during the transaction.
  • Boynton Beach Police – Lobby is open 24/7 lobby.
  • Jupiter Police - Building in operation 24/7. Residents could use parking lot when lobby is closed.
  • Atlantis Police - Residents should use the lobby or parking area.
  • Stuart Police - Exchange zone in parking lot. Notify dispatch from the call box.
  • Vero Beach Police – The parking lot has a section that has 24/7 video surveillance.
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