By Tamas Mondovics

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) is opening a safe way for citizens to finalize their online purchases by means of offering the use of its four patrol district office parking lots.

According to HCSO officials the effort is a great alternative as many residents are looking for safe spaces to conduct transactions arranged online such as Craiglist.

Dubbed “Operation Safe Sale,” the program is a response to safety threats for those engaging in cash transactions involving items advertised on the Web or other classified ads.

“Operation Safe Sale will undoubtedly deter anyone with bad intentions,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Larry McKinnon.

Craiglist statistics, posted by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, in July 2015 showed that the number of Craigslist daily queries worldwide reached 50,000,000. Each month Craigslist gets nearly 20 billion page views.

The online post also said that the total percentage of all Craigslist revenue that comes from adult service ads reached 33 percent, while the number of new classified ads that are published on Craiglist every month is 40 million.

The research also showed that the number of Americans who use Craigslist each year is estimated at 50 million.

At 1.3 percent, the Tampa Bay area may not be the most trafficked locations to post one’s items, but Craigslist sales going bad, many of them ending in robberies, continue to make headlines and plague communities nationwide.

“It only makes sense to offer up the parking lots for these Web or classified ad transactions,” he said, adding that the parking lots are well-lit and offer videotape coverage and ultimately a secure and safe environment where there are more people around. The four patrol districts “Holiday Safe Sale” locations are:

-Patrol District 1, 14102 N. 20th St., Tampa

-Patrol District 2, 2310 N. Falkenburg Rd., Tampa

-Patrol District 3, 7202 Gunn Hwy., Tampa

-Patrol District 4, 508 33rd St. SE, Ruskin

Visit www.HCSO.tampa.fl.us.