Police urge safe transactions after Savannah Mall incident - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Police urge safe transactions after Savannah Mall incident

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Often we hear things, we understand warnings given by police but until we see it play out, we may not always listen to that advice.

Police are once again urging folks to do their online transactions in front of police. This, after a shot was fired yesterday at the Savannah Mall after a Craigslist transaction went horribly wrong.

“A shopping center, or a school, or a church or anywhere else is not a good place to make a transfer. Even though it is in the public, something like this is easy to happen,” said Savannah Mall General Manager Phil McConnell.

Thursday, police say 28-year-old Nicholas Rivera was supposed to meet with someone that was interested in buying his laptop. While sitting at the food court, the potential buyer ran up, grabbed the laptop, and ran off.

According to the police report. Rivera exited the food court and fired a shot in the parking lot and yelled for the suspect to stop. Rivera caught up with the suspect, pointed his gun at him, and the suspect dropped the laptop.

"There are several small towns around here that police stations have set up areas where these transactions can be made and they can keep an eye on it,” said McConnell.

Savannah is one of those.

"I think the number one choice is to go to a police precinct. We are fortunate enough in our community have to have precincts scattered throughout. So, whether you go to one, two, three, four, five or headquarters, you have options there depending on what is convenient,” said Savannah-Chatham Metro Police APO Hillary Nielsen.

During business hours, stop by, make police aware and they will watch over the transaction.

"So, when you are engaging in any online interaction you never really know who is on the other side. When you are going to meet that person, all you know is that they have or you have something the other wants. But that does not mean you know the person you are meeting,” said APO Nielsen.

It is a simple solution to a growing problem police are seeing. Folks being taken advantage of when they attempt to sell things online.

No charges have been filed against Rivera at this point. No arrests have been made either. As for the mall, they are business as usual.

WTOC spoke with Rivera very briefly Friday, and he was not interested in talking or commenting on what happened.

If you ever want to make a transaction, no appointment is needed, but again it must be done during business hours.

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