Earlier this week, a pregnant Colorado woman looking to buy used baby clothes from a woman she found on Craigslist drove to the seller’s home. When she arrived, she was brutally beaten and stabbed. The attackers then proceeded to cut her unborn baby from her womb, leaving her there to die.
She’s expected to survive, but the baby did not.
That’s a sickening story, but it’s not an isolated one. According to reports, at least 48 people have been killed in altercations stemming from Craigslist since 2009. When you think about what Craigslist provides – partially anonymous transactions involving goods and money – this isn’t all the shocking.
But it’s troubling nonetheless.
That’s why counties in Florida are looking to make Craigslist transactions safer. The Boca Raton Police Department has been leading a campaign to raise awareness about Craigslist crimes, and also provide buyers and sellers with a safer place to make their exchanges – police stations.
These so-called “Safe Exchange Zones” are what’s needed to curb Craigslist-spawned violence, says Police Chief Dan Alexander. He claims to have fielded no instances of Craigslist-related crime since the safe zones’ inception.
According to CBS News, other counties in Florida are looking to do the same, including Jacksonville.
This extremely troubling story is just another reminder to be careful when dealing with strangers online. This sort of Craigslist bait-and-attack happens more often than you might think. See here, here, here, and here. Scary stuff.
Image via Boca Raton Police Department, Facebook