Aberdeen Police will be citing shopping cart thieves.

The Aberdeen Police Department says that the City of Aberdeen has their new option to help address the problem of shopping carts in downtown, their officers will put a new focus on enforcing existing State Law.

Aberdeen Police Chief Steve Shumate tells KXRO that he has been able to meet with multiple owners and managers of businesses who use shopping carts over the last month, talking about the problems these local companies face. He says that the ongoing concern was the challenge of keeping their shopping carts within the their properties, forcing time from their employees to search the city to recover the missing carts so customers can use them.

He adds that while the City looks at certain ordinances to help address this problem, the Aberdeen Police Department and the City Code Enforcement Officer will start enforcing the existing State Law regarding Shopping Cart Theft.

“It is our intent to issue warnings up until January 1, 2019; after that date, violations of the Shopping Cart Theft statute will be pursued and the impounded shopping cart will be returned to the appropriate business.”

APD says that businesses report the loss of thousands of dollars each month due to stolen or damaged shopping carts. Of those that are found, they say the shopping carts have to be repaired and sanitized before being placed back into use by customers.

“The City expends a great deal of police and public works staff time recovering abandoned shopping carts as well as disposing damaged or unidentifiable carts. “

Some businesses who allow customers to use carts to take goods to their homes and return them later should start issuing written authorization from the store owner or manager, according to APD.

Aberdeen Police add that while their main focus will continue to be to handle normal calls for service and combating illegal drug activity, the enforcement of this statute will be expected by the City’s Code Enforcement officer, our patrol division, and the department’s Animal Control/Limited Code Enforcement Officer when that office is filled.

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