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Phoenix-area city considering safe zone for online deals

Susan Locke, left, hands her money to Michele Velleman as she purchases a table in the "online safe zone" outside the police station in Georgetown, Mass., Monday, July 13, 2015. Around the nation, in police department parking lots festooned with surveillance cameras, authorities are setting up an "online safe zones" where people meeting via Craigslist or buying goods via eBay can meet up without fear of assault or abduction. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

PHOENIX — Finding that kitchen table you’ve been hunting for online is like a dream come true, until you think about actually meeting with the person that sells it.

Of course, the seller is most likely nice, friendly and glad to get the table off his or her hands, but all of us have that little voice in the back of our minds that says, “What if?”

A Phoenix-area city is looking to avoid scenarios like that by providing some piece of mind for those shopping on sites such as Craigslist.

The Tempe City Council will consider Tuesday establishing a safe zone pilot program where people could complete online sales deals under the watchful eye of police.

Buyers and sellers would be allowed to meet in a police department lobby between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to conduct transactions.

Arizona State University already has a similar program in place. The school’s safe zone opened last year.

However, only those affiliated with ASU can use the school’s safe zone, whereas Tempe’s will be open for public use.

KTAR’s Brian Rackham contributed to this report.

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