‘Think safe, be safe’: Richmond police warn residents to use safe exchange zones after 2 robberies


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Authorities in Richmond warned residents on Tuesday to be careful when meeting people in order to complete online transactions in person after two recent exchanges in the city’s southside ended in robberies.

Police said no injuries were reported but that the robberies took place near safe exchange zones in the city. There are safe exchange zones in the lot of two precincts: 2nd and 4th Precinct.

“Don’t forget your sixth sense, if it doesn’t feel good, if you pull up and it doesn’t look right, if it doesn’t feel good keep right on going, because your sixth sense will do you well,” Lt. Robert Marland told 8News. “If you don’t do it here, look for a shopping center where there‘s a lot of people around, have a friend come with you, preferable during day time is a little better than at night.”

Popular sites for buyers and sellers include Facebook, Let Go, Offer Up and eBay.

“Luckily no one has been hurt recently but this is the idea to make sure nobody does get hurt,” Marland explained. “If the person is truly interested in making the purchase, they’re not going to mind coming here to the precinct.”

Diane Grey is a firm believer that safe exchange zones can save lives. Her son Josh was shot and killed in Richmond while he was selling his iPhone on Sept. 17, 2018.

“I feel like if Josh had known the safe exchange zones and he could’ve used one, this would’ve never happened, ever,” she said. “You don’t know who you’re dealing with on the other end.”

It’s why Lt. Marland stresses the importance of safe exchange zones.

“If you find yourself in a situation, give the item up and let it go,” he said. “Everything can be replaced. You can’t.”


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