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Police tackling Craigslist crime | News

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Police tackling Craigslist crime

MAUMELLE, Ark. (KTHV) - Almost a tenth of 2014's shootings happened during Craigslist deals that took place in not-so-public places, and the Maumelle Police Department is trying to change that by letting buyers and sellers use their lot for transactions.

Many thieves will try to lure buyers into alleys or hidden lots.

"Oh, last year was a rough year for Craigslist," said Maumelle police spokesman Captain Jim Hansard. "We had several instances around the country."

More than 60-million people in the United States use Craigslist every month.

In the last year and a half, the central Arkansas area has seen four Craigslist shootings, two of them resulting in deaths. By taking these transactions and putting them in public places, particularly like a police parking lot, police say it quickly weeds out the thieves from the legit buyers.

"If it's a scam, you're going to know it pretty much immediately. They're not going to want to come anywhere near any police department," Hansard said.

In February, Maumelle became the first department in the area to actively encourage people to use their lot for transactions, and later this week the Jacksonville Police Department will be doing the same.

"If the person agrees to come to the police department to do the transaction, you're on the up and up," he elaborated. "It makes everybody a little bit safer, a little bit more at ease and better peace of mind."

Police say you don't need to give permission to use their lots for transactions, and they'll supply an officer to oversee it upon request.