SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — At least nine police departments across Central New York are offering a “safe exchange zone” for people meeting up with strangers to buy or sell items found online.

At the following police departments, you can safely buy items in-person from online sellers:

  • Auburn Police Department (lobby)
  • Cicero Police Department (front)
  • Fulton Police Department (municipal building common room)
  • Manlius Police Department (front)
  • North Syracuse Police Department (front)
  • Oswego Police Department (front) and Oswego Fire Station (eastside)
  • Rome Police Department (lobby)
  • Skanateles Police (Village Hall parking lot)
  • Utica Police Department (lobby)

These areas are designated by police as safe because they offer video surveillance, good lighting, nearby traffic and, in many cases, police officers coming and going to fast assistance.

Police don’t limit their zone to people just from their community, inviting anyone from anywhere to take advantage.

Notably, the City of Syracuse does not have a similar zone.

In the last three days, there have been two cases of robberies in Syracuse resulting from meet-ups planned over Facebook Marketplace.

On Saturday, a 21-year-old man was threated with a knife by the person he was meeting to sell his sneakers. A 19-year-old man was arrested.

Monday night, a 20-year-old woman was threatened by a group of men with guns who stole the Apple Watch she was intended to sell. The group ran away and hasn’t been caught.