Morro Bay considering ordinance addressing shopping cart theft

November 13, 2023


In an attempt to clean up the nuisances stolen and abandoned shopping carts create, the Morro Bay City Council is looking to adopt an ordinance requiring stores to manage their carts, according to the Nov. 14 agenda.

City staff is recommending the council adopt an ordinance that places primary responsibility for retrieving stolen and abandoned carts on business owners. If passed, the ordinance will require store owners to mark each cart with a warning that it is illegal to take carts along with the store’s name, address and phone number.

In addition, store owners will need to secure their carts when the store is closed and to produce an annual abandoned shopping cart prevention plan.

If police officers find an abandoned cart, they will inform store staff about the cart. Store staff will then have 72 hours to collect the cart. Failure to retrieve the cart within three days will lead to a $50 fine.

“The overall objective of this ordinance is to establish a foundation with the retail industry to ensure that the abandoned shopping cart prevention plan is responsive to the needs of the community for a clean and safe environment,” according to the staff report.


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Geese are there really THAT many carts around town? I just haven’t noticed all the hundreds of abandoned carts, trashing up Morro Bay, enough to warrant such a ridiculous action? Charge the Store for Thieves stealing the carts?, just seems absurd to punish the victim of a crime!

Although, in the BA many years ago, a friend made a business of going around Mountain View collecting carts and returning them to the stores. I’m not sure what he was paid per cart, but I do remember most were found near apartment buildings. AND he made enough to pay his rent and feed himself. BUT doing that in MB? I don’t see it as a viable job. Just not enough abandoned carts around, to collect and return.

We should totally prosecute the thieves and throw them in jail. That way we can give them food, housing, and medical care in what is probably the most expensive way possible. But then they will be punished for something, like being mentally ill, so we can all feel superior and they aren’t getting anything for free that we have to slave away for.

Instead of policing grocery carts, why not arrest and prosecute those that steal them? Oh yeah, it’s the Liberal Utopia of Morro Bay, CA. It’s the non criminals fault.