BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - If you buy or sell something on E-Bay or Craigslist, chances are you aren't going to know the person you're doing the transaction with.
Due to the potential dangers that come along with blind transactions, the Butler County Sheriff's Office is offering a new service in the main lobby of the Butler County Jail. The jail's lobby will serve as a "safe exchange zone" for anyone who needs to buy or sell an item to someone they don't know.
The sheriff thought it was important to implement this program because of the number of people who were robbed or assaulted while trying to make an online transaction.
In May of 2015, 17-year-old John Winstel thought he was meeting someone to buy video games. He had set up the transaction through Craigslist and agreed to meet at Heritage Elementary in Liberty Township for the exchange.
"When he got there, Logan Jatzek, Randy Ehrhardt, both 18, and a 17-year-old juvenile assaulted and robbed him. They were arrested a short time later, but these types of transactions have a lot of potential for a crime to take place, and they certainly have," said Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones. "People have lost their lives over a few dollars and if I can lessen any chance for someone to get injured, I'm going to do just that."
Beginning Monday, the exchange location will be in the main lobby of the Butler County Jail.
Exchanges can take place 7 days a week between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The Sheriff is also considering marked parking spaces in the front lot designated for exchanges for those not wanting to use the lobby.
The sheriff hopes that offering this service will cut down on the dangers of online transactions.