It’s the first day of spring! Spring cleaning can often lead to boxes full of things you no longer want or need. Donating these items to a local charity is always a great option. If you are posting the items for sale online or in an app, be sure to plan ahead to meet your buyer in a safe location.
The Sheriff’s Office has designated areas at every District Office as E-Commerce Exchange Safe Zones for customers meeting with individuals to transact business resulting from online deals.
The E-Commerce Exchange Safe Zone is a proactive program aimed at deterring criminals from preying on victims through fraudulent online transactions. These areas are well lit and equipped with video surveillance cameras. The locations offer an enhanced sense of security which reduces the opportunity for crime.
Regardless of where you ultimately decide to meet individuals, here are a few tips to remember when meeting an unknown person to buy or sell an item:
- Tell a friend or family member where you are going and when to expect you back.
- If possible, always have someone accompany you.
- Bring your phone so you can call for help.
- Meet in a public, well-lit place with people around if you choose not to use the Sheriff’s Office.
Locations of Safe Exchange Zones in Charlotte County:
District 1 Office: 11051 Wilmington Boulevard, Englewood
District 2 Office: 992 Tamiami Trail Suite A, Port Charlotte
District 3 Office: 3280 Tamiami Trail Suite 505 (Promenades Mall), Port Charlotte
District 4 Office: 7474 Utilities Road (Headquarters), Punta Gorda
Punta Gorda Police Department: 1410 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda
Local Charity Drop-Off Locations (not a comprehensive list):
Charlotte County Homeless Coalition: 1476 Kenesaw St., Port Charlotte
Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity: 1750 Manzana Ave, Punta Gorda
Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies: 19675 Kenilworth Blvd, Port Charlotte