ROANOKE, Va. – Buying from others online is a great way to save money, but it can also be dangerous meeting someone you don’t know.
That’s why the Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office created the “Safe Exchange Zone” to make buying and selling safer.
“You can read many cases across the nation, unfortunately where people have been duped and/or they get to a location and it’s not what they thought they were going to get,” Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Tameka Paige said. “Or you know, they agreed on one price for something and someone gets there and asks for another price.”
The new Safe Exchange Zone will be officially unveiled on Thursday, with two parking spots outside of the Justice Center under 24-hour surveillance.
“We just felt like right here out in the open two law enforcement places you know close by this would be a very good location,” Paige said.
Colby Roy and his friends said that they’ve shopped online before and always look for red flags before they meet up.
“Especially in downtown Roanoke, there’s a lot of people that can see, a lot of witnesses if something were to go down,” Roy said.
Shopper Will Taylor said he’s looked online before but never felt comfortable buying in-person until now.
“I haven’t felt safe, but knowing this is in the community,” Taylor said. “I’ll be fine doing it.”
Meanwhile, Paige said the spot can be useful for more than just shopping.
“Let’s say you have two parents that share custody, and unfortunately they don’t get along too well,” Paige said. “They need just a neutral location to exchange the kids. This will be a primary spot that they can come to do so.”