The Dover Police Department is issuing a safety alert to its citizens following a series of thefts that occurred as a result of internet sales meetings. Currently, the department is investigating at least three reports where victims have met prospective buyers from the popular online classified sales website, Craigslist. The three cases involve sales of small electronic devices. In each case the victim has met the suspect(s) in the parking lot of a shopping center. When the suspect asks to inspect the device, they have fled each time with the item. No injuries or altercations have occurred to date, but the potential for danger is very high in these situations. As a result the Dover Police Department is inviting citizens who are selling or buying items to meet in the public parking lot of the police department or in front of the police department on Bank Lane. Buyers and sellers may also utilize the porch area of the front entrance to the police department under the overhang, but must not hinder the anyone’s ability to enter or exit the department. Please keep in mind that the department nor any of its employees will act as a witness to a sale or be involved in any agreements or civil matters involving sales once completed. The Dover Police Department is simply allowing a safe haven for sales to take place without interrupting police operations or access to police services. The Dover Police Department is also sharing the following tips for those who choose not to use the designated department locations:
- Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe, shopping center parking lot, etc.
- Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home.
- Be especially careful buying/selling high value items.
- Consider making high-value exchanges at your local police station.
- Tell a friend or family member where you’re going or when you’re having a buyer/seller in your home.
- Take your cell phone along if you have one.
- Consider having a friend accompany you.
- Trust your instincts.