Police Warn Dangers of Online Sales After Recent Robberies
Buyer beware and sellers watch out too. Online market places are quickly replacing the traditional yard sale. But the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office want’s you to be extra careful when arraigning a meet-up point.
DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (CAROLINE BALCHUNAS, WTAT-TV) — Buying and selling over social media is not always worth the risk. A post on the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office Facebook says several people have been the target at or near the Food Lion off Ashley Phosphate.
They said the suspects are posing as potential buyers on social meeting, looking to purchase items like cellphones. When they meet up to complete the transaction, deputies say the sellers are held at gunpoint.
Inspector Chip Googe said they see similar cases in Mount Pleasant.
“It’s one of those things where you’d see minor things happening, some people were just getting stuff taken from them – they would go and meet with people and they’d have it grabbed out of their hand or something of that affect,” said Googe.
For people who buy and sell, it pays to be wary.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” said Jennifer Takajay. “I think we’re crazy nowadays with the way we trust strangers.”
“If it’s not in a public place, I might call a friend to come over and stick around with me while they come to pick it up because usually it’s a man coming to pick up stuff,” said Ayeisha Brinson.
Sales gone wrong happen often enough, more cities are designating safe spots to meet up, like one at the Mount Pleasant Police Department which opened a year-and-a-half ago. It’s a safe area recorded on surveillance cameras.
“Yes all the time, we have people here all the time,” said Googe. “We’ve had a couple people who have asked to see the video.”
“I’ve heard of that, I just heard of that recently but I’m not going to cart a sofa to a designated spot,” said Brinson.
“I wasn’t aware of it, that would make me much more comfortable, I mean, I was comfortable before just doing it in a random spot,” said Jeremy Levine, a Charleston visitor. “There’s bad examples of everything so I personally, I would feel comfortable but it’s just like any sort of meet up or any sort of exchange, you have to take the precaution.”
There are several safe exchanges across the Lowcountry:
Hanahan City Hall –1255 Yeamans Hall Road
Mount Pleasant Police Department –100 Ann Edwards Lane
North Charleston City Hall – 2500 City Hall Lane
North Charleston Police Department South Bureau- 3401 Rivers Ave
North Charleston Police Department North Bureau 7272 Cross County