Selling items using online sites such as eBay, Craigslist, or local Facebook groups can be a dangerous business. Numerous people have been victims of theft, rape, and even murder as a result of meeting strangers for a sale. To help protect the citizens of Hernando County by making these transactions safer the Sheriff’s Office is now allowing citizens to use its lobbies and parking lots to meet for exchanges. The goal of creating these “Safe Zones” is to deter crimes from occurring during such transactions.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis said “Today’s technology makes it more convenient than ever for sellers and buyers of personal items to find each other. Unfortunately, it also has created an opportunity for thugs to take advantage of unsuspecting citizens. We cannot do
much about the international scams, but we can provide a safe haven for those wishing to complete these transactions here in Hernando County. If even one honest citizen is spared the trauma of being a victim, the program will be worthwhile. Citizens should know that if the other party refuses to meet at the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, they are up to no good.”
Citizens are encouraged to utilize the Sheriff’s Office lobby at 18900 Cortez Boulevard in Brooksville or 7499 Forest Oaks Boulevard in Spring Hill between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If transactions need to be completed outside of normal business hours citizens may use the parking lots at both locations, which are well-lit and under 24-hour video surveillance. If you plan to use either lobby they ask that you check in at the front desk prior to completing your transaction.