The Alhambra Source asks your questions to the Alhambra Police Department's Sergeant Brandon Black. Send your questions to email@example.com.
I see people dumping shopping carts all over town creating a hazard. Do the police have the authority to cite / give a warning to people who take them and dump them in front of our houses?
Abandoned shopping carts have been a chronic problem for many municipalities, including Alhambra. To combat this problem the city has taken a pro-active, two-pronged approach. First, the city enacted ordinances in 2007 that prohibit the removal of shopping carts from the property of the business that provides them. It also prohibits abandoning shopping carts on any public or private property. Modifying shopping carts and using shopping carts for any purpose other than that intended by the cart owner are also prohibited by city ordinance. Unattended shopping carts located on either public or private property without the owner’s consent are declared a nuisance by ordinance.
The second prong of the city’s approach places certain responsibilities on the businesses that provide shopping carts to customers. The city developed a comprehensive “Mandatory Abandoned Cart Prevention Plan,” in which local businesses that provide shopping carts are required to participate. This plan requires those businesses that provide carts to customers take affirmative steps to prevent removal of carts from their premises and mandatorily retrieve abandoned carts within 24 hours. Affected businesses are also required to permanently affix cart identification to each cart, post signs in conspicuous places that notify customers that cart removal is prohibited, and train employees on requirements of the abandoned cart prevention plan. Here is a link to the Shopping Carts ordinance.
Active enforcement of these ordinances has been a priority since they were enacted in 2007. Enforcement has been carried out primarily through the City’s Code Enforcement Office. Prior to 2007, the city had code enforcement officers specifically patrolling for abandoned shopping carts and removing them.
Residents are encouraged to call the California Shopping Cart Retrieval Service at 1-800-252-4613 at any time to report any abandoned shopping carts.