Companies move to stop cart theft

Shopping cart theft is causing local businesses a lot of money and financial deficits.

In a study conducted by CIO-Business Technology Leadership, a shopping cart in the United States is stolen every 90 seconds, each cart valuing $75-$100 a piece. The organization, which provides its clients “with insight and analysis on information technology trends,” also found that supermarkets lose more than $800 million annually.

Kenny Martinez, manager of the Wal-Mart located on West Tennessee, said that the store is a main target of shopping cart theft.

“About five to 10 shopping carts go missing daily.” Martinez said.

Martinez went on to say that the headquarters Wal-Mart is responsible for the ordering, repair and distribution of shopping carts to our local centers.

With millions of dollars being spent on replacing stolen carts, companies are turning to technology to prevent theft. Cart Anti-theft Protection System is a device that is installed and literally stops the cart from being able to leave the store’s premises. An antenna around the perimeter of the premise reads when a cart is leaving and signals the cart to brake.

Carttronics LLC., of California, developed CAP. The company proposes, via its Web site, a solution for theft problems both locally and nationally if companies are willing to invest in the security system.

Carttronic’s president, Art Salyer, was quoted by the BNET Business Network Web site saying that the new technology “modifies the behavior of certain consumers; they learn that they can’t take the carts any further, so they stop trying.”

Other companies choose to hire a contractor to drive around and collect carts that have been left alongside the street. Companies such as Cart Recovery, and Carriage Trade Service Co., Inc are hired to locate carts in the surrounding areas of the store and return any carts found.

A Publix customer service agent, who did not provide their name, said a manager will usually recover some that are lying along side the streets of Tallahassee in his own truck.