Kamloops RCMP cracking down on stolen shopping carts
Ashley Legassic - Reporter
Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
September 12, 2017 - 2:09 PM
KAMLOOPS - After receiving numerous complaints from local businesses, Kamloops RCMP say they're trying to resolve the issue of stolen shopping carts in the city.
Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says in a news release business owners were complaining about carts being stolen and used by unknown people on the streets. They were also getting complaints about people with the carts blocking customers from accessing storefronts and forcing them to leave the sidewalk.
This past spring, Kamloops RCMP spoke with businesses and learned most suffer customer inconvenience due to a lack of available carts and a financial loss from stolen carts that are never recovered. Shelkie says all the businesses said permission is never given for someone to take the carts from store property.
Police and other community partners have been working on the issue and asked for voluntary cart returns. Shelkie says arrangements were made with bylaw to keep a person's belongings stored by the city for two weeks, allowing time for alternative solutions.
Between June and September this year, 33 carts have been returned to businesses, Shelkie says. One man had seven different carts seized from him during the time period, despite repeated warnings and requests to cooperate.
Shelkie says police have not recommended criminal charges in any of the cases while they continue to reason and work with everyone involved in the issue.
“We want to be as fair as possible to the people using these carts. That is why we have given as much notice as we could through our partner agencies and verbal warnings to persons possessing stolen property.” Shelkie says. “However, at the end of the day, these shopping carts are stolen property that the stores want back. As well, there is a public safety issue when pedestrians have to walk on the roadway to avoid carts on the sidewalk.”
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