Police offer parking lot for Craigslist transactions in an effort to increase safety
LOUDON, Tenn. (WVLT) - The officers at the City of Loudon Police Department say they've seen all sorts of scams. Recently, they think they've found a solution and it's right out their back door.

Faded yellow lines, gravel, and a puddle filled with yesterday's rain make up the City of Loudon Police Department's parking lot. But, it's more than just a parking lot; it's peace of mind at a time when people are losing money, possessions, and even their lives through online sites like Craigslist.

"There's so many people that are out there trying to victimize people. You just got to verify now," says Scott Newman, a sergeant with the department.

Loudon Police say their dirty parking lot might be the cleanest place to do business.

"People that are legitimately wanting to sell an item or buy an item are not going to come to the police department and try to take advantage of someone," says Newman.

Spencer Skinner knows what being taken advantage of feels like. He lost nearly $2,000 in a Craigslist scheme.

"It was probably one of the most disappointing things I've ever found out in my life," he says.

This new strategy can't change what happened to Skinner, but he thinks it could help others avoid what he went through.

While trust isn't getting any easier to find, piece of mind is waiting in this gravelly lost between two faded, yellow lines.

If you'd like to use the Loudon Police lot for a Craigslist transaction, they just ask that you call them first to let them know. Their number is: 865-458-4423.