Shopping Carts on Notice

By Eric

Time: July 7, 2022 at 2:53 PM
Location: 800 block of Bath Street 
Event: Abandoned World Market Shopping Cart and city action
Comment: IMO another example of the city being unfriendly to local businesses.  Though I suppose “city combating evil capitalists littering city with shopping carts” could be another take.
My Action: Called the number, complained to bureaucrat, and did personal business. Then returned to post this and return the cart to World Market. 



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  1. They are going to hold a shopping cart hostage because they found it stolen, ditched in a creek or at a lovely roadside encampment. If stores get fed up, they will take carts away as they really are only a courtesy to shoppers, not guaranteed. Who pays the price then, us of course, the ones that return the carts (or leave them in the parking lot to have the employees collect).

  2. Ross Dress For Less at 5 Points and near Costco have the same “flags” on their carts to prevent them from being taken out the door. Commercial (well-built) stainless -steel grocery carts cost hundreds of dollars. Lesser-quality carts can be picked up for a bit over a hundred, maybe a bit less in bulk. The City of Santa Barbara could buy a few hundred carts to give away to street people….could be used as a platform to display art by artists and/or advertising. I’m not positive about this, but I (me) believe there are tracking devices in the store carts to track where you used it to go around the store, and how much time you spent in front of the cereal, meat, or……cookies!

  3. We were in Whitehorse Yukon and the store had carts that had a slot to put a “looney” 2$ coin in it to use and it had brakes that would not let it leave the store parking lot perimeter. You got your looney back when you put the cart back in the rack.
    I would say 10$ around here would keep carts on premises.
    Old tech really.

  4. I’ve reported an abandoned car on my street several times….never got a sticker, sign or any other notice. The car is inoperable, windows open and full of leaves and dirt from the wind. It has been there for at least a year. Must have been a business giving out plastic straws that caused the full might of the city not to investigate.

  5. RHS A shopping cart off the premises of a business is stolen property. A 72 hour notice of towing is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Who is seizing bikes? Probably the same people stealing shopping carts. Also business owners need to do better securing their carts and retrieving them when they are stolen. They should be fined by the city if carts are left around town. There used to be a guy with a truck who would pick up random carts and return them. Local stores paid him per retuned cart.

  6. This is hilarious. Why would they have tracking devices on carts that can’t leave the store? They don’t need to know where people are spending time because they know what people have bought. It’s called inventory. But thanks for making me laugh today.

  7. Eric, way to take action! i.e. “Do it yourself”. Gotta love that there’s an official pre-printed form for these actions? It says the Owner of the cart, do they actually contact said owner, or is just a piece of paper?

  8. Bicyclist, would you like to return to where you left your bicycle and find it had been seized and taken away? This process is to give people a chance to move on or to show abandonment. Not that hard to figure. (72 hour notice is put on cars parked in residential streets prior to citation or towing.)

  9. LMAO, they really go to the effort of placing a notice on them? That’s the city for you and most government agencies, the same ones in charge of solving our homeless crisis (let’s just buy a motel to house them all). They burn down the freeway, railroad shoulders and almost a bowling alley, why would we ever think they couldn’t burn down a motel. But shopping carts, should have seen how many there were at the 101/154 intersection when it was cleaned up, guess what, they are back in there. A lot of good the orange safety fencing did to keep them out. We stop catering to them and they will go to other places. (disclaimer: these thoughts are my own, do not shame me for that)

  10. Sounds like California justice: punish property owners because someone stole their stuff and abandoned it creating an eyesore. The problem is not the store but the individuals who steal the carts.
    If this is too punitive the it will only be a matter of time before shoppers get charged a hefty deposit for a shopping cart only to be redeemed if you your return your cart. $50 deposit per cart that you forfeit if you don’t return it? Leave your cart for someone else less fortunate than you to redeem?

  11. The person who gave me an arrow down for my comment has no sense of humor. No wonder SB does not get too many standup comedians here in SB to perform at the SB County Bowl, the Arlington Theater or Granada Theater.

  12. .City employees will go after shopping cart offenders , but will violate and not enforce zoning laws. It starts at the bottom and goes to the top, and I am not talking about steam from the dogpile.

  13. Some stores already put out shopping carts whose wheels cease if moved too far from the store. Grocery Outlet on DelaVina and SantaCruz Mkt on Hollister are two. Outright theft of shopping carts for personal use and shopping carts to transport groceries home then abandoned won’t go away until such measures are universal. A segment of our society believes anything not locked tight is up for grabs.

  14. Every airport has the system where carts cost a coin that is refunded when they are returned to the dock. Pathetic that we have to ask businesses to add the expense of such security. AND that they have to pay to have the carts sanitized after the bums steal them.

  15. The 72 hour notice is required by SB Municipal Code. It is the law and affords people an opportunity to move their car before it is towed. That seems fair to most I think, not ridiculous. Businesses do have an obligation to pick up carts if they allow them to be removed from their property. Last I heard there is still a cart pick up service btw. And using a cart to transport merchandise home and then abandoning it (it that is what happened here) is not theft which requires the intent to permanently take possession of the stolen stuff. (Hence “joyriding” versus grant theft auto.)

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