PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY —The Santa Monica Police Department advised people via their Facebook page to be on the lookout for sketchy Craigslist transactions in order to prevent robbery.
Here are their tips:
• Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe, or the parking lot of a police station. If someone is too scared to meet you in the parking lot of the police station then something is probably wrong.
• Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers to your home.
• Be especially careful when buying/selling high value items; many thieves are placing ads for cars that aren’t theirs.
• Tell a friend or family member where you’re going, and keep them constantly updated.
• Take your cell phone along if you have one, and know exactly where you are located so that you can quickly report it to police, i.e. specific address/street.
• Consider having a friend accompany you, or have a friend act as a layoff person to watch the transaction secretly and who can remain calm and call the police if needed. If your friend is in a vehicle, they might be able to give a good description of the thief and the direction they are seen getting away with your property or money.
• When talking to the seller, tell them you are not bringing money with you.
• Do not bring money when first meeting the seller.
• Inspect the item for sale, ensure the seller is the true owner, and check to see if anything is suspicious. If all seems well, then go get the money from a different location.
• Do not keep valuables on you like an expensive purse, electronics, or jewelry.
• Trust your instincts, and be prepared.