Jacksonville, Bradford County sheriff's offices offer safe spaces for Craigslist transactions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office will be joining a growing group of local law enforcement agencies that will let you close online deals right in their own lobby.

Sheriff John Rutherford's personal spokesperson, Lauri-Ellen Smith, told Action News that JSO will soon announce a new initiative called Safer Transaction.

Lawful buyers and sellers can go to any of the six substations between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and finish an online transaction in person.  Although it hasn’t been announced yet, Smith said it’s available now.

“An officer does not monitor your transaction, but certainly with that secure presence you would hopefully have a safer transaction," said Smith.

JSO's headquarters downtown is also open seven days a week between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The new initiative comes after several attacks have been linked to buyers and sellers using Craigslist.

The most recent: Police say a baby was cut out of a Colorado woman's body after she met up with a woman claiming she was selling baby clothes on Craigslist. The victim survived but her baby did not.

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“I think regardless of where you live … it’s pretty horrific,” said Stephanie Cold of Jacksonville.

Cold is an avid Craigslist user.

“Typically looking to buy furniture, I’ve bought a bike off Craigslist, I bought concert tickets on Craigslist,” she said.

But after hearing about this horrific crime, she’s re-thinking her habits.

We checked to see what the local options are for people seeking safer ways to answer an online ad.

We found out that in addition to JSO, the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page that its lobby is also open, giving buyers and sellers another option to avoid an attack and safely finish what they started online.

The following JSO substations are available for conducting Craigslist transactions safely:

Regency Square, 9501 Arlington Expressway
Near Wolfson High School, 7100 Powers Ave.
Cedar Hills Shopping Center, 3726 Blanding Blvd.
Edward Waters College, 1767 Kings Road
Highland Square Shopping Center, 936 Dunn Ave.
Gateway Town Center, 5258-13 Norwood Ave.

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