Monitored spot offers place for people to buy, sell items

MARYSVILLE — People who buy and sell goods online now have a safer designated spot in Marysville for the exchange.

The city has partnered with a year-old Bellevue company called OfferUp.

OfferUp approached the Marysville Police Department to pitch the idea, Cmdr. Jeff Goldman said. The department posted the signs, which the company provided for free, earlier this month.

“We have our parking lot obviously under surveillance and recorded,” he said. “We thought this is a great product for our citizens who usually would meet in park-and-rides, shopping centers, you name it. It gives them a little more comfort.”

The location is the well-lit southeast part of the police station parking lot at Grove Street and 43rd Avenue Northeast. That area already was used for parents who need to meet with their former partners for custody exchanges.

OfferUp is a classifieds website, similar to Craigslist, so the company’s signs provide a little free advertising. The company didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Some people already have been spotted using the site, Goldman said. The Sultan Police Department also recently announced a similar program.

People still need to use a lot of caution meeting strangers, Goldman said. Go with a friend and research the person in advance as much as possible, he said. Anyone who feels uncomfortable can use the phone outside the station to summon help. The location and its proximity to law enforcement likely is not going to be attractive to those with bad intentions, he said.

Transactions that start online have been linked to robberies and assaults in the region in recent years. Expensive items for sale for cheap, including electronics and even baby formula, may turn out to be stolen.

An Arlington father and his son are charged with assault in connection with a shootout at a Stanwood park-and-ride in May. They reportedly went there to confront someone they thought was selling their stolen chain saws online. Prosecutors allege that the pair attacked the wrong people.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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