The Southern Pines Police Department is reminding the community of the “Internet Purchase Exchange Area” at the Southern Pines Police Department located at 450 W. Pennsylvania Avenue.

Law enforcement across the country has recognized that criminals have been using online commerce to bring victims to them at a time and place of their choosing, which has resulted in stolen property offenses, robberies, sexual assaults and even homicides. The notoriety of crimes, wherein a buyer or seller in an internet arranged transaction was victimized, has created a need for locations where the public has a sense of security.

The Internet Purchase Exchange Area is another community-focused proactive measure taken by the Southern Pines Police Department to further reduce crime in our community. The Southern Pines Police Department is uniquely equipped to provide a safe place for such exchanges due to a well-lit parking lot, dedicated indoor space, emergency contact/panic devices directly routed to Southern Pines Police Dispatchers, and 24/7 video surveillance monitoring of all areas.

Chief Robert Temme offered the following comment upon opening of the Internet Purchase Exchange Area in January of 2016.

“Keeping our community safe is an ever-evolving process. It is imperative that our Police Department embraces change and keeps up with current trends. If we fail to keep up with emerging technology, trends and behavior in commerce, we miss opportunities to improve the safety of those we have sworn to serve and protect.”

The indoor Internet Purchase Exchange Area is located on the North West corner of the Southern Pines Police Department and is accessible 24/7 including holidays and weekends. Members of the Southern Pines Police department will not assist in the facilitation of the transaction, and will not assist in obtaining identification from the buyer or seller, checking serial numbers on items involved in the transaction, or negotiating types of payment.

Any disputes arising must be handled through the dispute resolution process prescribed by the internet site on which the arrangements were agreed. The sale, possession or purchase of firearms will not be permitted in the Internet Purchase Exchange Area. The Southern Pines Police Department assumes no liability regarding the quality or authenticity of the items involved in the transaction.

The Southern Pines Police Department would like to take this opportunity to provide the following Social Media transaction safety tips:

• Insist on meeting at a public place.
• Don’t go alone.
• Trust your instincts.
• Do not meet in a secluded area.
• Do not invite strangers into your home, and do not go to theirs.
• Be cautious when buying/selling high-value items.
• Perform the transaction during daylight hours.
• If it sounds too good to be true, it normally is.
• Tell a friend or family member about your intentions.
• Take your cell phone with you. 

Contact: Captain Charles Campbell – (910) 692-2732

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