Increase in Walmart shopping cart thefts leads Central PD to warn public of consequences

Local News

CENTRAL, La. (BRPROUD) — An increase in stolen shopping carts from Walmart has the Central Police Department warning the public that taking a cart is a crime.

On Tuesday, Central’s Police Chief Roger Corcoran posted a message to Facebook alerting the public of the law as people are taking the carts from the store to across the street.

Outside Walmart of Sullivan Road in Central where the carts are missing from, people had mixed feelings.

“Let’s lay off of the policing of carts,” said Jaylon Francois.

“No, you shouldn’t take them, it’s not yours,” said a shopper who asked to remain anonymous.

Shopping carts are being rolled away from the store and are being found in the Central Woods neighborhood just a block away.

“I can vouch for the people that live across the street from this very Walmart, most of them don’t have cars and they’re probably providing for their family,” said Francois.

According to Louisiana law, taking a cart from a store’s property is theft.

§68.1. Unauthorized removal of shopping cart, basket, or dairy case

A. It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to remove a shopping cart, basket, or dairy case belonging to another from the parking area or grounds of any store without authorization therefor.

B. Whoever commits the crime of unauthorized removal of a shopping cart, basket, or dairy case from the parking area or grounds of a store shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

2018 Louisiana Laws Revised Statutes RS 14:68.1 – Unauthorized removal of shopping cart, basket, or dairy case

“Somebody over in Central Woods had one of the electric ones that goes through Walmart to get your groceries plugged in the front of their house. They were using it like it was theirs,” said Corcoran.

Along with it being a theft, Corcoran calls it a safety issue.

“If you ride through there and you hit one or you go to dodge one, there’s ditches there, you can get in a bad wreck and somebody could possibly get killed,” said Corcoran.

In the Facebook post, he said Walmart employees have been using their personal trailers to collect the carts and at times as many as 50.

People said taking the carts may be small to some, but it’s not worth a run-in with the law.

“If you can return them, return them,” said Francois.

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