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South Fayette creates safe meeting place for Internet sale exchanges

Jim Spezialetti
| Friday, March 4, 2016, 4:51 p.m.
Internet purchase exchange meeting spot
Internet purchase exchange meeting spot

A simple sign has generated a buzz in South Fayette.

The township designated an area in front of the police station as an Internet Purchase Exchange Location. The sign marks the location where people who conduct online business with strangers can meet for the transaction.

The area is under video surveillance 24 hours a day, at the police station, 515 Millers Run Road. The township's involvement came about after a resident posted a comment on Facebook, saying that South Fayette should have a sign similar to the one in nearby Peters, Washington County. Commissioner Lisa Malosh noticed the comment, and forwarded the suggestion to the township manager.

Within the first 24 hours that the township's Facebook page announced the presence of the signs, the post had been viewed more than 150,000 times, according to the township's in-house metric. It also collected more than 2,000 likes and was shared more than 1,100 times.

“We paid $40 for a sign and we're providing a very popular service,” said Andrea Iglar, community development director.

Peters' “Exchange Zone” - also under video surveillance - has been in place for almost a year. police Chief Harry Fruecht said.

“A number of people take advantage of it,” he said.

Fruecht said he got the idea from his daughter who lives in Texas.

“She sent me a picture of one used down there and said, ‘how about this for an idea?'” Fruecht said.

The chief said Peters created the location for two reasons: Internet sales and child-custody exchanges.

“They're both very good uses and gives everyone a sense of safety,” he said.

Police departments across the country have established a secure area for the exchange service in the past year.

Iglar said the sign's announcement has tallied the most views, by far, of any post on South Fayette's Facebook page. A post on the Newbury Market Development has 8,000.

Jim Spezialetti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5805 or

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