JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) -- The Johnson County Sheriff's Office is trying to make things a little safer for those buying or selling online. They've designated parking spaces at the sheriff's office for anyone wanting to do an exchange.
There is not one case in particular that prompted the Sheriff's Office to create these designated meet up spots. In fact, Sheriff Doug Cox, says he can't point to any crime that has occurred during an online sale or purchase that his office has investigated. But, that doesn't mean it's not happening. One case in particular, happened outside the Sheriff Office's jurisdiction, but within Johnson County.
The meeting place was set; building 906 at Polo Run Apartments in Greenwood. It was 2:30 p.m. on a July afternoon, in 2017. The victim was selling some electronics to a woman he met online. Or so he thought. Instead, Greenwood Police believe 19-year old Jawon Jones set up the victim and robbed him.
"You've kinda gotta watch out for people because you don't know how people are. Some people want to take advantage of you," said Cody Craighead who lives at Polo Run.
Craighead is just 25-years old. So, any kind of online activity is the norm for him, including buying and selling. He typically chooses well lit, public places to do exchanges. So, he isn't overly concerned about what happened a few doors down.
Police arrested Jones and he is behind bars facing several charges including intimidation and theft. Officers were able to get the victim his belongings back. This type of crime is exactly what Sheriff Cox is trying to proactively prevent.
"We put this together so that they could do that, so that they could do it in a safe environment where someone is here 24/7, 365, that could help them," said Cox.
Within, the parking lot of the Sheriff's Office are two parking spaces near the front of the building. They're marked for internet exchanges, although they can also be used for custody exchanges. A camera is mounted on the corner of the building, capturing any and all activity.
"Day or night, we can focus on the construction workers over at the hospital with this camera. We can get license plates numbers from the hospital, in the parking lot over there. It's a high quality camera," said Cox.
Inside, authorities can monitor the video from their computers. In addition, there is generally always an officer in the building to offer help. Help, that Craighead will take advantage of in the future.
"I'd probably use the Sheriff's Office. I didn't know that about that, but that sounds like a better idea than mine," said Craighead.
The designated parking spots are meant for anybody, regardless if you're a Johnson County resident.