Penn Hills designates parking lot for 'internet purchase exchange location'
Penn Hills has a designated spot for people to safely exchange internet purchases after an online buy-and-sell business donated a sign to the municipality.
“The idea behind it is to have a safe place to exchange those things,” said Police Chief Howard Burton. “They’re on camera; the whole thing is being recorded.”
He said the municipality received the green sign designating the internet purchase exchange location earlier this year from OfferUp, a free mobile app that allows people to buy and sell items. Other similar apps providing the same service include LetGo, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.
The sign, marked by “Meetup Spot,” was installed on a light pole in the new municipal complex’s parking lot, just outside the main entrance.
“We didn’t have the facility to do that over at the Frankstown Road location,” Burton said. “And the cameras weren’t that updated. We have a better camera system now.”
The police chief said the municipality has received complaints from people who were robbed when meeting people they thought had good intentions after an online exchange of goods.
“We’ve had numerous reports in the past where people go into homes or meet somewhere private and the product is stolen,” Burton said.
Burton said there are no set hours for when people can make exchanges.
“The parking lot is open 24/7. The gates are open, lights are on. That’s why we chose that location,” he said.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dillonswriting.