Costly Carts Stolen and Abandoned

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MEDFORD, Ore. — It’s obviously an issue many stores in the Rogue Valley are dealing with. In the location off of Biddle Road, there are carts from Safeway, Target and WinCo all in one place.

Carts are crucial to grocery shopping, used almost every time someone visits a store. And they don’t come cheap. The carts at Food 4 Less in Medford are worth at least $250 each. So when a thief takes one, it’s a big hit. And that happens all too often.

“Oh it’s constant. It never goes away,” said Store Manager Terry Allphin. “We could probably find two or three any day. When we do have extra time we have a box van and we’ll send somebody out and they’ll just go around and pick up a few. They just wind up anywhere, bike trails, other establishments, any place!”

After the carts are stolen, they’re just abandoned and left in a field, on the side of the road or crammed under a road sign.

But because the carts are worth so much, most store managers are willing to send staff across town to get them back. Food 4 Less crews go out a couple times a month to round them up.

Medford Police Community Service Officers are well aware of the problem. And officers do what they can to help keep public property looking its best, but are often chasing bigger things. So they are asking for the community to work together to keep carts where they belong.

“It’s definitely an eye sore. And collectively, we can all work on this together,” said CSO Todd Sales.

If you do find a cart on your private property or somewhere in the city, the best thing you can do is call the store. Police say at the end of the day, they are responsible for picking them up.


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  1. Frank jenkins says:

    We own Eagle Retrieval cart service…and we have been contracted with Safeway, Winco, Albertsons and Fred Meyer in Grants Pass and Medford for the past 3 years through the Oregon Grocery Association. We place stickers on the carts we are contracted with so people can call us to pick them up. Many residents in apartment complexes often use the carts and leave them on the sidewalk for us as they are familiar with our excellent service.

    We are saddened that this research has not been done. Carts have wheels and move quickly, however, we round them up about three times weekly to ensure a money saving solution for stores. Other stores will be sure to benefit from our service as well.

    1. Christy Lewis says:

      Hi Frank, this is Christy Lewis with NewsWatch 12. I’d heard there was a service provided to stores in the area, but when I tried to find it, I couldn’t. Do you have a web site?

  2. CB says:

    It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who is behind this. Run the addicts and bums out of town.

  3. Sandy Franklin says:

    I’ve seen carts in large cities that lock into each other. You have to insert a quarter to get the cart loose and then when you lock it back to the other carts you get your quarter back.

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