Vancouver police using incident to remind residents of Safe Exchange Zones
VANCOUVER — A pair of teenagers have been arrested for robbing a 13-year-old at gunpoint March 30 after the boy arranged to meet with them to sell a video game that was listed for sale online, according to the Vancouver Police Department.
The boy was not injured
Devin A. Gonzalez, 19, and Hunter W. Woodley, 18, were arrested April 11 on suspicion of first-degree robbery. Gonzalez was subsequently booked into the Clark County Jail. Woodley was already in the jail for unrelated charges.
The Vancouver Police Department is using the robbery and arrests as an opportunity to remind the public of its Safe Exchange Zones, which offer a safer alternative for meeting a stranger than a remote or unfamiliar location. The zones are located at each of the department’s parking lots.
“While department staff will not facilitate any transactions, the police facilities are located in populated and well-lit areas,” the department said in a press release. “If a buyer or seller is not willing to meet at a police facility this may be a red flag as to the intentions of the individual. The Safe Exchange Zone is meant for person-to-person transactions. Property may not be dropped off and left unattended; sellers are required to take their property with them if the buyer does not show up.”
The following parking lots are designated and signed as Safe Exchange Zones:
- Vancouver Police Administration (605 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver)
- Vancouver Police West Precinct (2800 NE Stapleton Road, Vancouver)
- Vancouver Police East Precinct (512 SE 155th Ave., Vancouver)
The department also offered these crime prevention tips when agreeing to meet someone to buy or sell items:
- Meet during regular business hours whenever possible to increase the opportunity of other people being in the vicinity.
- Avoid meeting in a remote location.
- Avoid meeting at the person’s home or inviting them to your home.
- Bring along a friend.
For more information on the Vancouver Police Department Safe Exchange Zones, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/police/page/safe-exchange-zones.