PLAINFIELD, Ind. – Along with more than 1,400 police departments across the country, the Plainfield Police Department is an official meetup spot with the online marketplace Offer Up. While they received the official designation this year, the station has seen a lot of exchanges take place.
"We’ve always been kind of an unofficial exchange location in town,” said Deputy Chief of Support for the Plainfield Police Department Jill Lees. "It definitely has increased over the last several years, starting with craigslist, because there obviously have been not just craigslist but other internet sites that have caused some dangerous situations that you’ve seen in the news in the past.”
Earlier this year a man selling his PlayStation 4 through Offer Up was shot in the parking lot of an Indianapolis apartment complex. This came less than a year after a woman was shot during an Offer Up sale at a Thornton’s gas station.
"Our sign is located over here, the meetup spot,” Deputy Chief Lees said as she walked through the vestibule of the police department. The spot is open 24/7 and has a security camera and a phone that immediately connects with dispatch.
"Whether it's an official site or not, a police station is the best place to do an exchange because less criminal activity is going to likely happen," Lees said.
However, Lees says public locations can still be a good choice, and police departments aren't the only places designated as "community meetup spots" through Offer Up. This month, three separate GetGo locations in Carmel, Plainfield and on Rockville Road in Indianapolis, also partnered with Offer Up to become an official meetup spot. People can go inside or in the parking lot to exchange items, which the company says has video cameras and is monitored by employees.
"Many retail businesses to begin with have video cameras on their building, but they may not be aware that people are exchanging items in their parking lot," Lees said. "So it's good that a business is offering that program for them."
Lees said the Plainfield location may help people living on the opposite side of town from the police station.
The Indiana locations are just 3 of 91 GetGo locations nationwide that are partnering with Offer Up.