HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - The Hartsville Police Department announced it will offer itself as a safe pick-up location for transactions.
"With the recent increase in criminal activity surrounding trade/sale groups on Facebook as well as Craigslist.com the Hartsville Police Department would like to follow other departments in offering our offices as a safe location to meet someone you do not know," the department posted to its Facebook page.The department explained in detail in the following post:
If it is during business hours you are welcome to use the front lobby of the police department to meet the other party.
We ask that any large item sales/trades but conducted in an area that does not interfere with traffic on Carolina Avenue.
If you must meet them after hours or on the weekend please feel free to meet at the back of the police department.
We request that you do not use the parking area closest to the back door as that is reserved for police cars on official business however, the parking area across the alley way is open and available. That area is also video recorded.
If you know in advance when you want to meet and make the deal, you can call ahead and IF an officer is available (we have to handle calls for service and emergencies first) an officer will make an effort to be in the immediate area for your safety.
NOTE: We will not/can not run guns, cars, equipment, etc and check to see if it is stolen. If you have reason to believe it is stolen and we can connect it to a possible case, then we can check it. This will be a case by case basis but we can not do it on everything.
We want the citizens of Hartsville to feel safe!
Lieutenant Brian Rudick pointed out it is a much better alternative to having a stranger meet you at your home or in an unknown location.
"Think about it, if you're trying to meet a prospective buyer and they don't want to meet at the police department, that could indicate ill intent," said Lt. Rudick with the Hartsville Police Department.
He said the response to his Facebook post has been positive and he wouldn't be surprised if other area agencies offered the same opportunity to community members.