To folks with fraud in their hearts, the phrase “gimme mine,” of course, means “gimme yours.”

To make “gimme yours” a lot harder to happen, the Houston Police Department has established safe trading areas for people to meet and buy, sell or trade.

It’s an excellent idea. The safe spaces protect buyers and sellers alike, since those safe spaces will be under video surveillance.

It will also save a lot of tax dollars -- your tax dollars -- in many different ways.

The safe places will hopefully cut down on fraud, and therefore reduce the time and expense needed to investigate those cases. That time, and those expenses, of course, are paid for by your tax dollars.

Cutting fraud cases also cuts down on the costs of jailing the accused, feeding them in jail, running them through the court system, prosecuting them, and perhaps locking them up if they draw hard time. Even if they draw probation, someone has to check on them.

All those things are financed with your tax dollars, of course.

There are two areas that are being utilized for this project. The front of the Police Department, which, due to limited space, will mostly be for swapping small items. The east side of City Hall will be used for large items such as vehicles and items that require a trailer.

The areas are under video surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Two recent crimes spurred the decision. The first was the October 2020 murder that was the result of an attempted robbery. The victim and his daughter came to town to purchase a vehicle and he was later fatally shot.

A few weeks ago, an ATV was stolen during a transaction in a restaurant parking lot. The sellers were given a fake cashier's check and the thief made off with the ATV. The amount of the transaction totaled $18,500.

If a crime does occur at one of the safe spots, however, call 911 immediately and the police will take it from there. There will be video evidence to aid in the process, and someone, or someones, will become major motion picture stars at the center of a crime feature.

Said Houston Police Chief Adam Harmon: “If somebody doesn't want to meet you at the safe place, then they aren't worth meeting. That means that there's probably something shady about it.”

That’s very good advice.

An ounce of “staying out of” is worth a pound of getting out of…”

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