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Tip List: Merced to act on stray shopping carts

SUN-STAR PHOTO BY MARCI STENBERG
Three empty Target shopping carts rest against the bus stop benches on Loughborough Drive on the north side of Target store.
SUN-STAR PHOTO BY MARCI STENBERG Three empty Target shopping carts rest against the bus stop benches on Loughborough Drive on the north side of Target store. Merced Sun-Star

Mary Graney, 40, has noticed a bunch of shopping carts scattered between M and R streets on Loughborough Drive.

"It's gotten worse," said Graney, who has lived in Merced for the past four years. "It's gotten progressively worse. Given the last six months, it's been really prominent."

Graney, who lives near Loughborough Drive, said the carried-away carts are an eyesore.

In the past, she said she's seen 10 to 15 carts littering the area.

Mike Stephenson, who manages the code enforcement department for the city, said if there are store names on the carts, the store owners are responsible for the carts.

"We could go out and tag them and give them a certain time frame to remove it," he said. "We could confiscate them and then charge them to get it back."

He noted that code enforcement planned to head out to the area Wednesday and "begin an enforcement action."

Mike Conway, city spokesman, said the city does have a shopping cart ordinance that requires the store owners to keep track of them.

He said code enforcement would handle the carts. "One thing is to encourage people to call code enforcement and report the carts and the location and they can do it anonymously or they can leave a name and number for contact purposes," Conway explained.

He added, "Because of short staffing in our code enforcement, we are not able to respond as quickly as in the past but we still take every call and complaint seriously and do act on them."

To call with a complaint: (209) 385-6861.

What's the problem: Shopping carts left far from shopping centers.

Who's responsible: The store owners.

What's being done: The city's code enforcement will begin enforcement action.

Tip off the tip list!

If you see something broken or in need of repair in your neighborhood, call the Sun-Star Tip List reporter, Ameera Butt, with your tips at (209) 385-2477 or e-mail abutt@mercedsun-star.com.

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