An Ottawa man is asking potential buyers to meet him at the police station when selling high-priced items to strangers on classified websites, such as Kijiji and Craigslist.
Vladimir Kostine said he started taking extra precautions with his expensive sale items, like his smartphone, after the charred remains of an Ancaster, Ont. man who was trying to sell his truck online were found in 2013.
"It's an extra precaution plus I've heard lots of stories of people running into trouble,” Kostine said. “At the very minimum, I think it weeds out some people who may not be interested in the sale for the right reasons.”
Kostine said he has had fewer responses to ads asking to meet at the police station — and he believes that means his extra precautions are having the desired effect.
'I think it weeds out some people who may not be interested in the sale for the right reasons.' - Vladimir Kostine
“On some level, it did deter some people who could potentially think of running a scam or some other sort of malice,” he said.
Ottawa police Const. Marc Soucy said he has never heard of people closing deals at police headquarters, but encouraged potential sellers and buyers to meet in a public place.
“In one way, I applaud this guy he's taking all the precautions to make sure that the transaction is safe,” he said. “We've always said that public places are a good spot either the mall, the food court, a coffee shop it's all good. As long as the item you're selling is legal, then if you want to do it at a police station, do it.”
The trial of the two men accused of killing Tim Bosma after showing up at his house to test drive a vehicle he was selling online is expected to begin in early 2016.