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On Tuesday, El Cajon's city councilmembers and mayor will consider a new law aimed at reducing the number of abandoned shopping carts scattered around the City.

"Shopping carts have been commandeered by homeless persons to store and move their possessions around city streets and by persons collecting recyclable materials from nearby trash cans then transporting them to one of the local recycling centers for cash...The accumulation of these shopping carts is aesthetically detrimental to the community, promotes blight, may reduce property values, and is in general, a public nuisance," reads the report from city staff.

The ordinance will place the burden of enforcement on businesses that provide the carts to customers. It requires businesses to submit a cart-theft-prevention plan to the City's Community Development Director.

If the plan is not acceptable, the City will offer recommendations such as installing a wheel-lock system, hiring security guards to patrol parking lots, or requiring store employees to usher customers to their cars in order to return with the carts.


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MURPHYJUNK Aug. 9, 2011 @ 9:02 a.m.

next step is holding crime victims responsible for having property stolen


learnb4ugive Aug. 9, 2011 @ 6:26 p.m.

This is interesting. I can see both sides of it but seems a little extreme to put so much burden on the business.


Visduh Aug. 9, 2011 @ 7:17 p.m.

There was a time when those carts in a parking lot were not purely self-service. The courtesy clerk helped the customer to his/her car, placed the merchandise in the car, and then returned the cart to the interior of the store.

This "cart problem" arose when the retailers decided that losing a few carts was cheaper than paying clerks to help customers with their purchases or prohibiting the removal of carts from the store.

That happened decades ago, but within my memory, and it was truly a bad move by all concerned.


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