Friday, October 6, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: The lobby of the Maywood Police Station, 125 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood. | Courtesy Maywood Police Department
As part of a comprehensive effort to deter criminal activity that originates online, the Maywood Police Department recently announced that it will allow residents to use the lobby of the station at 125 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood in order to meet with people from whom they’ve purchased goods online through various means, such as mobile classified apps like LetGo and OfferUp.
The space in the lobby is referred to as an Internet Transaction Safe Zone, according department officials, who announced the news in an Oct. 2 statement.
“Our goal is to promote a safe environment to conduct business, and that will reduce the likelihood of theft, robbery or violence,” the statement reads.
“Some people go on the internet and do these transactions, and then get tricked,” said Maywood Deputy Police Chief Elijah Willis during an interview on Oct. 6. “Now, you can use the department as a place of safe haven, where you can come in and retrieve what you bought. You’ll be under video camera surveillance and should you request an officer, one will respond.”
According to the statement, however, “there will be no police intervention, documentation or witnessing to the transaction.”
This past June, Maywood police arrested nine people who allegedly “conspired to lure unsuspecting victims by setting up fake accounts and profiles [and] posting items for sale” on LetGo and OfferUp.
Maywood Police Lt. Dennis Diaz said at the time that the suspects would lure people from surrounding suburbs who were looking to sell or purchase items on the mobile apps to Maywood before robbing them.
“Robberies typically increase coming into the holiday season,” Willis said. “We’re just putting it out there if you want to use the department for your transactions, to come in and do so.”
The Maywood Police station lobby is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Residents don’t have to call before coming in, police said. For more questions about the new meetup spot, call (708) 450-4471. VFP
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