GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado sheriff is offering people safe zones to complete sales brokered through online sites like Craigslist in response to the case of a Georgia couple who were killed last month after meeting someone to buy a vintage Mustang.
Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams announced this week that the lobbies of the sheriff department’s three administrative offices are open to buyers and sellers, as long as the transaction doesn’t involve weapons or drugs. Sheriff’s employees will not participate in the sales.
Reams told The Greeley Tribune that if someone doesn’t want to meet at the sheriff’s offices, it’s a good indicator that person isn’t safe to meet.
“It doesn’t make sense to wait for something to happen here before we decide to take action,” he said.
The agency isn’t the first to adopt the practice.
Police departments in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as well as the sheriff’s office in Hillsborough County, Florida, opened up their buildings or parking lots last year to online sellers and buyers.
In the Georgia case, 28-year-old Ronnie Adrian “Jay” Towns has been charged with malice murder and armed robbery in the deaths of Elrey “Bud” Runion and his wife, June. They drove nearly three hours from their home in Marietta to a small farming town and were found shot in the head. Bud Runion was trying to buy a replica of the 1966 Ford Mustang convertible he bought after returning from the Vietnam War.
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