COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s largest city is joining a trend of communities creating safety zones where people buying and selling items on the internet can meet.

Columbus on Wednesday announced the creation of five such purchase zones around the city, all located at police substations.

The meeting places are within view of city-owned video surveillance cameras.

Deputy Chief Thomas Quinlan says meeting strangers at police substations is safer than meeting them at places selected by another person.

Earlier this year, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the Springfield Township Police Department in northeastern Ohio announced similar safety spots.

The announcements follow national instances of people being robbed and killed while exchanging cash for goods sold online.

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