CENTRAL, La. (BRPROUD) — An increase in stolen shopping carts at Walmart has led the Central Police Department to warn the public that taking a shopping cart is a crime.
On Tuesday, Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran posted a message on Facebook alerting the public to the law as people took carts from the store across the street.
Outside Walmart on Sullivan Road in Central, where carts are missing, people had mixed feelings.
“Let’s put an end to the policing of carts,” said Jaylon François.
“No you shouldn’t take them, it’s not yours,” said a customer who asked to remain anonymous.
Shopping carts are removed from the store and are located in the Central Woods neighborhood one block away.
“I can vouch for the people who live across the street from that same Walmart, most of them don’t have cars and they’re probably supporting their families,” Francois said.
According to Louisiana law, taking a cart onto the property of a store is theft.
§68.1. Unauthorized removal of a shopping cart, basket or crate of dairy products
A. It shall be an offense for any person to remove a shopping cart, basket or crate of dairy products belonging to another from the parking lot or store grounds without authorization to do so.
B. Whoever commits the crime of removing without authority a shopping cart, basket or crate of dairy products from the parking lot or grounds of a store shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars or to the penalty of maximum imprisonment of six months, or both.
2018 Louisiana Laws Revised Statutes RS 14:68.1 – Unauthorized removal of dairy cart, basket, or crate
“Someone in Central Woods had one of the electrics that come through Walmart to plug in your groceries in front of their house. They used it like it was their own,” Corcoran said.
Besides being theft, Corcoran calls it a security issue.
“If you go through there and you hit one or go dodge one, there are ditches there, you can end up in some bad wreckage and possibly someone could be killed,” Corcoran said. .
In the Facebook post, he said Walmart employees used their personal trailers to pick up the carts and sometimes as many as 50.
People said taking the carts might be small for some, but it’s not worth running into the law.
“If you can give them back, give them back,” Francois said.