Local police departments host safe transaction posts

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – If you’re a parent, you likely know how popular “mom-to-mom” sales are on Facebook and online.

In fact, you can buy just about anything from private sellers posting items for sale on sites like Craigslist and on social media.

Vehicles, used baby items, smart phones, other electronics, guns and anything else of value can be found for sale.

If you’ve ever engaged in buying or selling anything online, you know how it works. Both parties agree on a price and both parties agree on a place to meet to complete the transaction.

“He robbed me!”

Just last week a woman posting on “Detroit Buy & Sell” on Facebook reported that when she showed up to buy something from someone else she found on the page, she says the man meeting her got out and robbed her at gunpoint.

We’ve also seen over the years people being not just robbed, but beaten, even shot during these parking lot meetings.

“A better way.”

This weekend police in Shelby Township let residents know that they are reserving two parking spaces in front of the department on Van Dyke for “E-Commerce Exchange Zones.”

When mom Brandie Shevela of Sterling Heights read about the plan, she immediately said, “I love it.”

We caught up with Brandie Sunday morning and she explained how she typically conducts “mom-to-mom” transactions.

She picks what she feels is a safe gas station to make the deals, but not anymore.

One of the people working with Shelby Township Police say she first saw one of the “E-Commerce” signs at a police department out in Vancouver and thought it would be a good idea for her township.

“Now trending locally.”

Shelby Township is now joining a list of Metro Detroit police departments who are inviting people who are making these deals to meet at their departments to make the transactions as safe for both parties as possible.

• Troy Police
• Sterling Heights Police
• Ferndale Police

In Detroit, police have in the past said that it’s a good practice to come to a precinct for these transactions, however they haven’t reserved parking spots for them.

Sterling Heights is reserving the spots with signs in front of their department, and a security camera is focused on those two spots.

The signs, lighting and cameras make the transactions safer.

Entering the department’s lobby to make transactions is an even safer practice.

And if the person you’re dealing with objects to meeting you at a police department, that could be a dangerous deal to begin with.

Ask your local department if they welcome e-commerce transactions in their parking lots or lobbies and be careful out there!

About the Author:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.