North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Marysville police provide safe place for online buyers, sellers

 

Christopher Andersson

There are parking spaces at the Marysville Public Safety Center designated for use by those buying or selling goods through online ads.

Locals interested in buying or selling goods through the internet now have a designated safe spot in Marysville to make their exchange.

When locals are using websites like Craigslist, OfferUp or other online marketplaces, they can use two designated parking spots at the southeast side of the parking lot at the Marysville Public Safety Center. The center is located at 1635 Grove Street.

The lot is already monitored with cameras and the police station has officers immediately available.

"If anyone feels uncomfortable, we're literally in the building right there and can help," said Marysville Police Cmdr. Jeff Goldman.

"More than ever, people are using the internet to buy and sell," he said. "This will provide a more efficient and safer way of doing business."

Most online trades do not result in danger, said Goldman, but it can happen. A recent shootout in Stanwood began when two groups met through an online classifieds site.

There are also many individuals trying to take advantage of others.

"In the sense of scams, we see those all the time," said Goldman.

The program is open to any local citizens, even those who aren't residents of Marysville, said Goldman.

The idea to designate these parking lot spots began with Bellevue startup OfferUp, an online classifieds service.

"The OfferUp business is reaching out to law enforcement, including us, about their interest in the parking lots," said Goldman.

The public parking lots are already monitored by cameras and provide a place to exchange goods.

"It's a more neutral and safer place to take part in any of the merchant websites out there like OfferUp or Craigslist," said Goodman.

Signs designating the parking spaces were donated by OfferUp and put up by Marysville Public Works employees.

Goldman said this was a "very inexpensive" way to contribute to the city.

The parking lot is public land, and Goldman said that the department tries to put it to use when it can.

"Historically we've offered up the parking lot for parents doing parent exchanges, if that situation is contentious," he said.

Goldman encourages individuals selling or buying items online to still take the normal safety precautions.

"This [designated spot] just provides one additional layer of protection," he said.

People should still vet the people they are meeting with, bring along a friend with them and not carry a large amount of cash around, he said.

 

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