A 2014 “Daily Dot” study of Craigslist transactions in the United States over a 30-day period revealed 74 criminal incidents in 27 states and the District of Columbia. Of those incidents, 11 resulted in violence, three resulted in death, and eight carried a threat of violence.
In an effort to protect Wake Forest residents from becoming victims of crime when selling or buying items advertised online, the Wake Forest Police Department is providing a safe zone for transactions called “Operation Safe Sale.”
Wake Forest residents who are selling or buying items advertised online may come to the police department at 225 S. Taylor Street to complete the transaction. Transactions may be made in the police department parking lot or inside the lobby, either with or without an officer present.
Anyone who wants an officer present will be required to schedule an appointment by calling 919-554-6150. At the request of either party, a police officer will be available to check the serial number to determine whether the item has been entered into state or national databases as stolen property.
The Wake Forest Police Department will not make any representations or warranties regarding the goods or services transferred between parties. Any item found entered as stolen through a state or national database will be subject to seizure and criminal charges may result.
Operation Safe Sale aligns with Goal 2 of the Wake Forest Strategic Plan: enhance and promote a safe and connected community and Objective F: enhance the sense of safety in the town.
According to Police Chief Jeff Leonard, the initiative is an effective way the police department can ensure the safety of the town’s citizens and reinforce its commitment to the strategic plan.
“We’re committed to safeguarding the lives and property of the people in our community,” Leonard said. “Operation Safe Sale offers us an invaluable way to do that and reduce the sense of anxiety many residents feel whenever they are buying or selling items advertised online.
“By helping our residents feel safer, we’re improving the quality of life in our community and accomplishing an important goal in the strategic plan.”
Leonard said the department will continue to explore initiatives that align with the strategic plan and specifically the second goal.
In January the department began partnering with Nextdoor, the free private social network for neighborhoods, as a way of fostering two-way communication between police and residents in Wake Forest neighborhoods.