Buyer and seller beware when meeting for transaction

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After the sale of a used iPhone turned deadly on Jacksonville’s Northside, police remind people of the dangers of meeting a stranger to buy or sell items.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said three undercover officers were out Tuesday night investigating one day after a man who had offered a cellphone for sale online was robbed. When the officers encountered three men at the Hampton Ridge Apartments on Hartz Road, one of the suspects pulled a gun and refused orders to drop it. The officers fired several shots, killing one man, critically injuring a second and arresting the third.

Yvonno Kemp, who said her 20-year-old son, Reginald Boston, was the man killed by officers, said he was not a thug wants to know why he was killed.

“I’m not gonna sit down on my hands. I’m not just gonna sit down and cry. I’m gonna put action to it and I want everybody in Duval County to know that," Kemp said.

While the latest police-involved shooting remains under investigation, it brings up the dangers of buying and selling through the online marketplace -- places like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace -- and meeting people for the transaction.

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, a former police officer, suggests buyers and sellers meet in a public place, bring a friend and keep their cell phones handy at all times.

Many local law enforcement agencies encourage people to make sales exchanges at their offices. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office headquarters is on Bay Street downtown and has six substations around the city that allow people to meet for such transactions.

“You can make it at any of our substations any time of day,” JSO Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters said. “You can call, have someone meet you there. You can do it during the middle of the daytime. That’s the best way to do it. It’s the safest way.”

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