LOWELL, Mich. -- In a post Tuesday on their Facebook page, the Lowell Police Department extended an invitation to people to use its lobby to complete any future Craigslist transactions.
"We would invite you to complete your Craigslist/Online ad transaction in the lobby of our police department. This will definitely weed out the bad guys trying to scam or harm the citizens of this fine community," the post reads.
Lowell PD Det. Gordy Lauren said he was turned on to the idea by another department he saw on social media posting a similar invite. He said he's unsure if many will take advantage of the offer, but he did point to the many positive responses the post has received online. As of Tuesday night the post had garnered more than 300 likes and dozens of comments.
“We think it’s just a good idea to make sure people are protected when they’re doing these Craigslist deals, and why not bring them into the police department?” he said.
The offer from Lowell police comes the same week an elderly couple in Georgia was found dead after going to look at a classic car they found on Craigslist.
While there haven't been any recent examples of Craigslist sales going bad in the Lowell area, Lauren said the department would rather be proactive.
"As a buyer, if you tell the seller you want to meet at the police department or the parking lot, if they’re trying to scam you, they're going to push away and not go through with the transaction anyway.”
Transactions within the lobby are going to be limited to items considered to be 'within reason,' Lauren said. Anything else can be dealt with in the department's parking lot out front.
“We’re hoping they don’t bring a big couch in the middle of the lobby," he said. "For the bigger transactions they can use the parking lot, and, of course, they’ll be safer out there in the parking lot than, say, in the Meijer parking lot or somewhere.”
The police department's lobby at 111 N. Monroe Street, Lowell, is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.