Naperville police offer department lobby as Craigslist meeting place

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The Naperville Police Department will begin allowing people to meet in its lobby or parking lot to finalize transactions set up online via sites like Craigslist.

Any member of the public can use the front lobby of the police department at 1350 Aurora Avenue between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. as a “safe haven” for buyers and sellers to meet and complete transactions, according to a statement from Naperville police.

Buyers and sellers with larger items that can’t be carried into the building can use the front public parking lot, police said.

The new program, which police referred to as the Buyers and Sellers Environment of Safety, is designed to prevent people from falling victim to criminals setting up in-person meetings under the ruse of anonymous online sales or purchases, police said. It is an extension of the department’s efforts to provide a safe environment for parents with civil agreements to exchange their children for visitation.

Transactions related to weapons of any kind will not be allowed at the police department, police said.

Anyone who chooses to meet elsewhere is encouraged to follow basic precautions, such as insisting on a public meeting place rather than a secluded location, police said. They also advised buyers and sellers to never invite strangers into their homes, to take a friend with them to meetings and to be especially careful when dealing with high-value items.

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