CAPE CORAL, Fla. - We're used to seeing shopping carts in parking lots. But what about scattered about and shoved into bushes? That's what someone is doing in a south Cape Coral neighborhood. And people contacted our Call for Action office to say it needs to stop.
You can't drive past the bushes without noticing the carts. There are a dozen of them. And neighbors say this problem started about a couple of months ago.
Shoved into bushes, overturned, and rusting: these stolen carts, sitting quietly, are causing an uproar among neighbors.
"It's kind of messed up its like this!" said neighbor Dean Rivera. Rivera lives next door and says they are mysteriously multiplying.
"It happens at night, never in the day time, as far as I know," he said. The cart collection comes from at least three different stores: two different Walmarts and Publix.
Some are concerned it's a hazard. "I think this needs to be cleaned up, for safety purposes," said Cape Coral resident Mathieu Milfort.
It's happening near the intersection of Cape Coral Parkway and Southwest 9th Place, right next to the neighborhoods mailboxes.
Tom Rivera wonders why no one has come to claim them. "I'm surprised that either Publix or big stores don't send somebody around because other places I live, that's what they do," he said.
WINK News has learned that is the procedure for those companies. A Cape Coral spokesperson says the city keeps in touch with Publix and Walmart when situations like this occur, and says companies are supposed to take the carts back to where they belong.
Cape Coral's code enforcement is aware of the problem as well. But we've learned, it's an ongoing battle. The city says people use the carts to take goods home, and then just leave them here.
"One person started to bring a cart here. Then it started to escalate," said Dean Rivera.
The carts are an expensive eyesore as well. Each of them can cost anywhere from $75 to more than $100.
We reached out to both Publix and Walmart. Walmart tells us their cart pushers try to monitor all carts the best they can. And when a cart is off property, they say they make every effort to retrieve it.