Forum takes on trolley patrols

A woman uses a Checkers trolley to move her belongings around.

The Table View Community Police Forum (CPF) has a trolley patrol to combat the theft of shopping trolleys in the area.

Stolen or lost trolleys cost businesses thousands of rands each month, according to Wendy Roberton of Sector 2 Table View CPF.

In April, 65 trolleys from various shops were recovered and the total cost of these trolleys is R69 300. These losses have been attributed to people stealing these trolleys and using it as carts as well as the carelessness of those who leave the trolleys anywhere once they are done shopping.

Craig Neethling, the CPF’s trolley patrol co-ordinator, said they had been doing this for the past three years.

“The culprits, namely the homeless who have the attitude that it’s okay to misuse and damage someone else’s property; and secondly the average shopper who has no regard for the trolley that was loaned to them by the shop to aid them to get their heavy parcels to their vehicles and simply just leave the trolley outside or just inside the boundaries are making it so easy for vagrants to walk in and help themselves,” said Mr Neethling.

Ms Robertson said on bin patrol days the team can be seen on the road from very early morning.

“Craig with his vehicle and the CPF trailer collecting trolleys. On any given day if the team spots a trolley there are a few members with appropriate vehicles who will do a pick-up or we have a few secure areas they can be dropped off at for collection later,” she said.

Adrian Johnson, the district manager for Horizon Trolley Management, which handles trolleys for Shoprite and Checkers, said he is very grateful to the neighbourhood watches and CPF for their help. “They often recover trolleys from vagrants and since our partnership started a year ago, we have seen significant changes in (the number of) lost trolleys,” said Mr Johnson.

John Mluadzi, who works as a trolley pusher at Bayside Mall, said they often have to pry the trolleys out of the hands of homeless people. “I know it’s weird but sometimes we get sworn at by the homeless guys and they want to fight us for the trolleys. We do what we can to keep these trolleys from getting lost but we can’t be everywhere. Sometimes I think people just leave the trolleys anywhere they like and we don’t see it and it gets lost,” he said.

Table View resident Jenny McIntosh said she is often guilty of just leaving her trolley randomly and understands the part she plays in this issue. “It is often difficult to focus on trying to get your belongings in the car while looking over your shoulder because we live in this very unpredictable world,” she said.

Mr Neethling said they want to create awareness around this issue and people should be vigilant. “All the trolleys we collect or recover, we keep behind Parklands SAPS and that is where all the shops or trolley service providers find their stock,” he said.