IMPD warns about potential danger in online sales after uptick in violent crimes

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A meet-up for an online sale turned into a carjacking on the near southeast side, and now police are warning both sellers and buyers about the potential dangers of these meetings.

A woman went to meet someone near the intersection of St. Paul and Kelly on the near southeast side to sell shoes. She didn’t expect to be held up at gunpoint and robbed of her phone, her car, and the white Air Jordans she planned to sell.

“We’ve certainly noticed a small uptick in crimes around online sales and kind of trading and buying things on Facebook and Craigslist and things like that,” said IMPD Sgt. Grace Sibley.

It’s the fourth time in just two weeks that online sales have gone terribly wrong. Last week in Kokomo, two people selling video game consoles were robbed—one at gunpoint.

Two weeks ago, an 18-year-old meeting up for a sale was shot and killed at a convenience store on the southwest side.

“We would encourage people who are thinking about buying or selling online to practice general safety,” Sibley said.

Police say there are simple steps to take when attempting to buy or sell something online. First, make sure you meet in a public, well lit area such as a coffee shop or shopping center. Many police departments have designated areas with 24 hour surveillance. It’s also best to bring someone else with you and tell others where you’re going

“IMPD does offer designated areas in each of the districts that have 24 hour surveillance,” Sibley said.

Police say there are some warning signs to look out for, like the buyer or seller changing locations at the last minute or asking to meet at a home. That’s why they say it’s best to meet at those designated areas whenever possible.

“We do welcome people who are nervous about a sale or just want to practice good safety, to come to these sites to come to the district,” Sibley said.

IMPD has six designated locations across the city for these transactions, which include

  • North District Headquarters –  3120 E. 30th Street
    Lobby Open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Closed Holidays)
    Reserved Parking Available 24-Hours in the north parking lot
  • East District Headquarters – 201 N. Shadeland Avenue
    Reserved Parking Available 24-Hours outside Door #1
  • Southeast District Headquarters – 1150 S. Shelby Street
  • Lobby Open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • (Closed Holidays)
  • Southwest District Headquarters –  551 N. King Street
    Lobby Open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Closed Holidays)
    Reserved Parking Available 24-Hours
  • Northwest District Headquarters –  3821 Industrial Boulevard
    Lobby Open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Closed Holidays)
    *Parking is limited.  Do not park on the main drive on the north side of the building. *
  • Downtown District Headquarters – 39 W. Jackson Place Suite 500
    Lobby Open Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Closed Holidays)
    *Parking is limited to metered parking spots near the building. *

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