OCSO Offers Safe Places For Completing Online Sales

Tuesday, January 27th 2015, 10:01 pm
By: News 9

The Oklahoma County Sheriff took action after a Georgia couple was murdered while responding to a Craigslist ad.

They were meeting a man who they thought was going to sell them a car.

Now, Sheriff John Whetsel said he wanted Oklahomans to have a safe place to complete sales.

“That article for me touched a lot of strings,” said Sheriff Whetsel.

Whetsel said this one hit close to home. Within hours of hearing about Georgia couple Bud Runion and his wife, June, there was a plan in place to protect Oklahoma County citizens from a similar tragedy. 

1/27/2015 Related Story: OK Co. Sheriff's Office Offers Safe Meeting Places For Online Deals

“It's really something that kind of tugs at your heart, and when the idea was broached today, it was a no brainer to me,” said Whetsel.

A few days ago, Bud Runion posted a want ad on Craigslist looking for his dream car, a 1966 Ford Mustang convertible.

Investigators said 28-year-old Ronnie Towns contacted the couple saying he had one for sale, and even sent photos. The couple, both in their late sixties, set out on a 200-mile road trip leaving their suburban Atlanta home to buy the car.

But, according to Georgia authorities, he never had the vehicle, and Towns was accused of luring the couple for cash and killing them.

“And rather than just take their money and ran, took their money and took their lives,” said Whetsel.

Because of this, for the first time the sheriff said he is offering people a safe place for meetings.

Sheriff Whetsel said people will now be able to close those online deals at sheriff's offices and sub-stations throughout Oklahoma County.

“If you're trying to complete a transaction, and you suggest to someone they meet you at the sheriff office substation, and they say no, that should issue a red flag to you,” said Whetsel.

The Sheriff said this option will also protect people against scams. He said scammers probably won't go to a sheriff's sub-station to make a transaction.