Medford shopping cart ordinance takes effect Sunday

MEDFORD, Ore.– A new Medford ordinance charging local businesses if they fail to retrieve abandoned shopping carts will go into effect this Sunday.

Over the last week, Medford Police Department performed courtesy sweeps across the city, locating and returning abandoned carts to stores.

“We’re also doing a sweep again this week,” said Deputy Chief Scott Clauson. “Kind of a precursor and as a public education and an education for the stores that there is an ordinance.”

Letters notifying businesses have also been sent out.

The ordinance requires stores to put permanent signs on all their carts identifying who owns them, the phone number for the owner and a statement saying removing the cart from store property is illegal.

“It is considered theft,” said Clauson. “It is a violation of Oregon law to take a cart that is owned by a store and to appropriate it and use it for your own belongings.”

If a store is notified one of its carts has been abandoned, it will have seven days to pick it up or face a fine of $50. If the cart is not claimed within 30 days or an owner can’t be located, the city will claim it and may dispose of it or sell it.

Meanwhile, anyone caught with a cart off store property will be cited for theft.

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