City Provides Safe Place to Close Online Deals

By EGP Staff Report

BELL GARDENS – With more people flocking to the Internet to buy or sell their things to strangers, the city of Bell Gardens is now offering a safe location to close the deal on those online transactions.

Over the last few years, some transactions have ended in theft and even murder. Two years ago in nearby Montebello, a man selling a $2,000 necklace on the site OfferUp, was fatally shot by a potential buyer who ended up trying to steal the piece of jewelry.

A safe meetup spot for internet purchase exchanges is now located outside the Bell Gardens Police Department lobby. (City of Bell Gardens)

A safe meetup spot for internet purchase exchanges is now located outside the Bell Gardens Police Department lobby. (City of Bell Gardens)

Bell Gardens Police Chief Robert E. Barnes said the department wanted to provide a safe place for the exchange of cash and goods and noted that crime tends to decrease in the presence of law enforcement. The Internet purchase exchange location, is now located outside the Bell Gardens Police Department lobby and will be well lit and feature security cameras that record 24-hours daily.

“It is my hope that by providing this service to our community, residents will utilize it and feel safe performing their legal Internet transactions outside our lobby,” the chief said in press release announcing the secure zone.

The department has partnered with OfferUp, which now encourages its buyers and sellers to use safe locations like the Bell Gardens site.

“Our ability to partner with the Bell Gardens Police Department allows us to bring a collective and focused effort and investment to the well-being of this community by improving the security of in-person transactions,” said Natalie Angelillo, VP of Community at OfferUp.

The Bell Gardens Police Department is located at 7100 Garfield Ave. Residents can also conduct transactions inside the lobby during regular business hours.

 

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June 1, 2017  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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