Officials encourage using “safe zones” for online transactions

Richland Co. deputies arrest man wanted for shooting at restaurant during online transaction

The incident has law enforcement officials once again warning of the dangers of online transactions.

Deputies say Jakeise Wanya Caldwell is charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, and other charges.

The victim told deputies that he and his girlfriend went to Rush's to purchase a car through the app LetGo, which allows people to buy and sell items online.

Deputies say when the victims arrived at the location, Caldwell shot and robbed the victim before driving away in the Ford Taurus.

The victim is expected to survive.

But the incident serves as a reminder there are places you can go throughout Richland and Lexington County, including the Richland County Sheriff's Office on Two Notch Road, to safely do business with surveillance cameras rolling as an extra layer of protection.

Captain Maria Yturria of the Richland County Sheriff's Office says their headquarters has had a designated spot to conduct online transactions for about a decade.

"What we do is encourage people who do any sort of transactions over the internet to meet up at one of those locations to do those exchanges. And we've got about five different areas of the county where they can do them," Yturria said.

Yturria said people use the designated spot for more than online transactions. Couples who share custody of children meet to drop off kids there as well.

The parking spot outside the Sheriff's office is a safe zone, where there might otherwise be the potential for a dangerous situation.

Yturria said if a person online is not willing to meet at a designated safe space, it might be a sign that something is off.

“We encourage (using the space) for any type of exchanges. If they don’t want to meet you at the Sheriff’s department to do a transaction- it’s probably not a good transaction.”

RCSD reminds citizens to use one of the department’s five Internet Exchange Safety Zones when conducting transactions online listed below:

  • Main Headquarters - 5623 Two Notch Road, Columbia, S.C. 29223
  • Region 1 Headquarters - 2615 Lower Richland Boulevard, Hopkins, S.C. 29061
  • Region 3 Headquarters - 6429 Bishop Avenue, Columbia, S.C. 29203
  • Region 4 Headquarters - 1019 Beatty Road, Columbia, S.C. 29210
  • Region 6 Headquarters - 118 McNulty Street, Blythewood, S.C. 29016

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