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New 'swap spots' offer place for people who buy online to hand off goods

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For people who buy things online and meet in person to exchange the goods, it can be an unnerving experience.

"While many people who conduct business online are honest and sincere in buying and selling their items, there are those who use it to facilitate their crimes," the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office says on its website.

That's why the sheriff's office is trying to make things a little safer through the launch of "swap spots" – a public place for people to hand off their legally purchased items.

Deputies won't be monitoring each exchange or keeping a log of the purchases made at the swap spots, which are located in the lobby of three Hennepin County Sheriff's Office buildings (see more details below). However, if a person wants to request a deputy to be present during an exchange, they will try to accomodate.

The swap spots will be open during regular business hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays at the following locations:

  • Sheriff's Water Patrol at 4141 Shoreline Drive, Spring Park.
  • Enforcement Services Division at 9401 83rd Ave. N., Brooklyn Park.
  • Public Safety Facility, 401 S. 4th Ave., Minneapolis.

The swap spots can also be used for child custody exchanges, among other legal exchanges, the sheriff's office says.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office also has tips for buying and selling things online, preventing identity theft, and additional tips on how to stay safe when you meet to exchange goods you've purchased or sold on the Internet.

For more safety topics, click here.

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