By: Sharon Aron Baron
In April of 2014, two men posing as sellers attempted to rob a man during a Craigslist transaction in a Coral Springs parking lot. After the buyer was held up at gunpoint, he pulled out his own weapon and and killed one of the sellers in self-defense.
Coral Springs Police are now encouraging residents that are buying or selling items on Craigslist to utilize the facilities of the police department lobby or parking lot which are under video surveillance and operational 24 hours a day.
Coral Springs Police Community Involvement Coordinator Lynne Martzall said that she worked on this during her career with the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
“In February 2012, after some violent Craigslist robberies in BSO jurisdictions, I was asked to gear Sheriff Lamberti’s message towards the crime trend – buyer and seller beware, requesting Craigslist users to use BSO locations for transactions,” said Martzall.
She said it is safe to believe that if the deadly transaction would have happened in a police department lobby, it would not have occurred. This resulted in the request to have Coral Springs Police Department turned into a “Safe Zone” which was approved, and then shared on their Facebook and Twitter sites.
“So for transactions with smaller items inside is best. Obviously larger transactions for items such as cars, tools, etc., the parking lot is best, which is also monitored.”
The obvious idea is that criminals will not come to a police department if they plan on robbing someone she said.
Martzall said that she will be going to work with City Marketing for signage for the lobby in the next few weeks.
The Coral Springs Police Department is located at 2801 Coral Springs Dr, Coral Springs, FL 33065.