Violent crimes stemming from Craigslist purchases don't happen often, but they have been in our local news several times this past year. Brown DPS welcomes Brown students and staff to utilize the front lobby for processing exchanges from online transactions. It will not be mandatory but we will ask that students and staff call ahead to advise officers that a transaction will take place and with an approximate time they should arrive by calling (401)863-3322.
The front lobby of the Brown DPS located at 75 Charlesfield Street will be used for Transaction Safe Place. It is manned 24/7 and it is monitored by a surveillance camera and offers a safe alternative space for exchange of items. A Brown Sergeant staffs the front office every day (Sergeants periodically patrol the campus and may not be physically present in the lobby during the time of the transaction). It will not be mandatory for an Officer to be in the lobby/office at the time of the transaction.
Brown DPS will not be there to authenticate the items being sold, or be a part of the transaction, but we are offering a location where people may feel safer than if they bought or sold an item at an unfamiliar, secluded location. The Brown Department of Public Safety’s Crime Prevention Unit not only monitors crime trends on campus, they also collect and monitor local crime data. Over the past several months Providence Police investigated four crimes involving the buying and selling of items from sites like eBay, Facebook & Craigslist. The most recent crime was Aug 22, 2016 where two brothers were looking to buy a car they found on Craigslist. When they arrived at the Providence East Side location a man approached them with a gun and demanded all of their money. Brown DPS have also learned that across the country University students looking to buy and sell products have become victims of crime.
“If the sale is legitimate, why would anyone not agree to meet at a police station lobby to complete the sale? Consider our location as a safe alternative. It is there if you need it.” Officer Kelly Mitchell.
Please call DPS at 863-9637 with questions about the Transaction Safe Place Initiative.
There is a phone in the lobby that auto-dials to the DPS Communications Center in case of an emergency.