You may be surprised to learn that Arizona has a state law that specifically prohibits theft of shopping carts.
It’s true. The law makes it a class 3 misdemeanor to take a store’s shopping cart off the property, even temporarily.
Police in the area don’t generally enforce this law, however.
“Prescott Valley Police Department has not enforced this (Arizona Revised Statute) code to my knowledge,” said Sgt. Jason Kaufman, PVPD spokesman, but then again, he said, “I do not recall anyone ever reporting a stolen shopping cart.”
He added, “When we see people with shopping carts, we stop and talk to them and advise them to return the carts.”
The state law is very specific; it requires the cart to have “a sign permanently affixed to it that identifies the owner,” and that sign must include:
• information on how carts can be legally removed from the premises;
• a warning that taking them otherwise is illegal;
• the phone number and address of the owner so it can be returned.
If all that isn’t permanently marked on the cart, the law doesn’t apply.
Of course, stealing is still stealing, and Chief Deputy County Attorney Dennis McGrane said that taking a cart not properly marked would “leave the theft under the traditional theft statute.”
A shopping cart generally costs about $125, according to the Arizona…
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