CMPD officially implemented 14 "exchange zones" at local QuikTrip gas stations today, hoping to provide safe spots for people meeting up to carry out online transactions made on websites and apps like Letgo.
Zachary Finch, 21, was murdered this summer in broad daylight while trying to sell a cellphone using the Letgo app, which connects sellers with buyers, leaving them to work out a meeting spot. Finch was killed on the afternoon of June 18 in front of an apartment complex on Farmer Street in west Charlotte. Another murder would occur on the same block during a drug deal gone wrong in October.
According to a CMPD release, two parking spots will be painted red to designate the exchange zones at the 14 locations (listed below), and those spots will be monitored by video 24 hours a day. CMPD officers will also do periodic zone checks of each location, although they will not oversee or broker transactions.
"The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department partnered with Quick Trip and coordinated exchange zones to offer community members a safer alternative while conducting online transactions," the release read. "It’s critical for community members to understand that there is always a potential threat to safety whenever unknown parties meet to conduct financial transactions, regardless of the location."CMPD officials will meet routinely with QuikTrip representatives to evaluate the effectiveness of the exchange zones, and hope to expand the program by partnering with other private companies around the city in the future, according to the release.
Look for the red-painted parking spots at any of the following QuikTrip locations to meet for potentially safer online transactions:
-127 E. Woodlawn Road, Charlotte, NC 28217
-6721 Albemarle Road, Charlotte, NC 28212
-7205 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28216
-2326 Sandy Porter Road, Charlotte, NC 28273
-11230 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28262
-7115 S. Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28273
-3025 Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28208
-116 Clanton Road, Charlotte, NC 28217
-3206 Eastway Drive, Charlotte, NC 28205
-5209 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28212
-4937 Sunset Road, Charlotte, NC 28269
-4200 Brookshire Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28216
-5708 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28213
-10910 Golf Links Drive, Charlotte, NC 28213