2016 General Election

Birmingham Police Stations Offer Safe Place For Online Buyers and Sellers to Meet

A sign by the entrance to the Birmingham Police Department headquarters notes where internet purchases can be safely exchanged. (Photo by Andrew Yeager, WBHM)

Online retailers such as Amazon may be a prominent way to shop online, but plenty of items are bought and sold between individuals through the internet, as well. On occasion, that can turn deadly.

In December, Destiny Washington, a 20-year-old University of Alabama at Birmingham student, was shot and killed outside the student center. Police said Washington was delivering a pair of Airpods she sold online when she was shot, allegedly by the buyer.

“Meeting up with someone in a place that you’ve never met a stranger … is a danger(ous) practice,” Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said in a Thursday morning press conference.

Woodfin referenced another recent case in which police investigated an internet sale that resulted in an in-person robbery. He said the victim was not injured.

Woodfin said the lobbies at the Birmingham Police Department headquarters and the four precincts are available as safe locations for online buyers and sellers to meet. Cameras are set up and police officers are present.

He said the downtown headquarters is available during regular business hours and precinct lobbies are open 24 hours a day.

“Police won’t be involved in your exchange. If you need them there for safety, they’re there,” Woodfin said.