FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Purchasing an item through social media may seem innocent enough, but Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said recently people looking to do just that have found themselves the victim of a violent crime.
"I just want to caution people to be very careful because we are having a significant number of robberies six of them in the last 28 days that we've identified."
In most cases the victims are held at gunpoint and robbed. Including a case here near the intersection of Fruit and McKinley where the victim showed up assuming he was about to buy a pair of Air Jordans.
"The first layer of protection is the location which you choose. Actually the first layer of protection is not setting up a meet on social media with someone that you do not know, a total stranger, in order to do business," said Dyer.
To combat this recent crime trend Chief Dyer said he will be doing something similar to what Clovis Police created two years ago.
Over the next couple weeks, Dyer will designate each police district station as a place to meet people for these types of social media business deals. Not necessarily a safe zone, but a safer place to make the transaction.
"We will designate a specific parking stall and we'll have signage at each of the district stations that will allow for individuals to know that if in fact they do meet someone, and they meet them at that location, it would be on video."
The recent trend of social media robberies was unveiled during Dyer's monthly crime view meeting. He also detailed an 11-percent increase in violent crime in the city in 2016 when compared to the year prior and a 6-percent decline in property crimes.
Dyer attributed the increase in violence to more aggravated assaults and shootings, robberies, and domestic violence incidents.
Dyer also said they are continuing to see positive trends already in 2017 that show a decrease in auto theft.