New Britain is trying to find ways to keep shopping carts from rolling away from stores where they belong.
Earlier this month, police in New Haven said they were cracking down on people stealing shopping carts and arresting or ticketing people they found with stolen carts.
Starting on Thursday, police in New Britain will be doing the same. Anyone who takes a shopping cart or laundry cart off the premises of a business can be charged with larceny.
New Britain police said abandoned carts on city streets are a form of unsightly blight and provide a negative image for the city.
The thefts also deprive stores of a “valuable tool that assists their patrons in shopping,” police said in a news release.
“This action is more than a step to protect private property from theft - abandoned property is a form of blight and acts as a deterrent to economic development," New Britain Mayor Timothy O'Brien said.
The value of the carts is hundreds of dollars and New Haven police said the problem there is that some people try to melt the carts down and bring them to scrap yards for cash or use the carts to transport things to scrap metal yards.
New Britain police will be carrying garbage bags to give to people found with stolen carts so they can remove their belongings from the carts, then the Department of Public Works will bring the carts to the transfer station, where businesses can retrieve them.
Nineteen businesses in New Britain have posted signs in Spanish and English warning customers not to take the shopping carts or laundry carts off the premise or face prosecution.