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Police Department offers safe haven for Craigslist deals | News

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Police Department offers safe haven for Craigslist deals
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WOODSTOCK, Ga -- Another metro Atlanta police agency is providing a safe place for Craigslist customers to close their transactions. The Woodstock Police Department is welcoming the public to use their lobby or parking lot to meet buyers and sellers.

The decision to provide a safe haven for Craigslist customers comes after the arrest of a teen who tried to steal a car. Jose Diaz-Gutierrez, of Forest Park is charged with armed robbery after meeting a man who was trying to sell his car on Craigslist.

"He wanted to steal the vehicle," Brittany Duncan, police spokesperson, said. "He demanded the keys and paper work to the vehicle, when he (seller) did not comply he (suspect) took off on foot."

Others have not been so lucky. James Jones, Jr., 21, was robbed, shot and killed when he drove to Marietta to buy an iPhone on Monday. Jones was a promising student at Clark Atlanta University where friends reacted to his death. "It's sad to know that people would do something like that over an iPhone," said Vanita King.

The bodies of Bud and June Runion were found January 26, 2015 in rural Telfair County. They were killed when they drove from their Marietta home to Telfair County to buy a car. Jay Towns, 28 of McCrae is charged with armed robbery and murder and awaiting his next court appearance.

Woodstock police are trying to end tragedies like theirs by offering a "Transaction Safe Place". You can go to their website or call the police department at 770-592-6030 to set up a time to make a transaction and have a police officer present. Duncan said they will also check the merchandise being sold. "Our officers are available to run serial numbers on any items to be sold or purchased in an effort to ensure they're not stolen," she said.

All police departments in metro Atlanta welcome people to make online transactions in their parking lots and recommend people do it during the daylight hours. Here is what some police departments offer:

Cobb County

Smyrna Police have a program called "Operation Safe Sale" where residents can make transactions in the Departments lobby and request a police officer be present.

Kennesaw Police advise residents to use their lobby or parking lot.

Cherokee County

Canton Police said citizens are welcome to use their parking lot which is well lit and has surveillance cameras.

Clayton County

College Park Police said residents are welcome to use their parking lot and they are looking into providing a safe place in their lobby.

Riverdale Police recommend residents use their parking lot.

Morrow Police offer a safe place to meet. Citizens can go inside their building and have an officer present between the hours of 9-am and 5-pm.

Gwinnett County

Gwinnett County Police said citizens are welcome to use their parking lot or lobby and request an officer be present for the sale.

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