Police and Onerous Trolley Fines?

I saw around 9 people get fined $1100 each, inside an hour, outside my local Woolworths today for taking the trolley outside of the store.

This is a migrant area so I don't know why Police are targeting it. The past few weeks they have been targeting jaywalking (with some stupid 20 meter rule, i.e. you walk outside the lines by 5 cm, and you'll be fined), but now they are targeting trolleys…

The one thing that jibbed me is that there is a system whereby there is someone paid in the community to pick up the trolleys. There is no auto-lock system for the trolleys.

The only exemption seems to be for parents who have children in their trolley and are taking it to their car. Otherwise the trolley must stay inside the store at all times…

NB: No I didn't get fined, but what happens to those who want to buy rice and take it home but don't have a car.

Bleh, I didn't expect this to go viral.

I just threw it out on ozbargain and didn't expect much of a conversation about it. In fact I don't really use the forum much at all…

The fine was actually $110 which people have already mentioned. The people were pushing the trolley from the shopping centre on one side of the road to the Woolworths on the other side.

i.e. If you parked at Woolworths and started shopping from the other centre and brought a non-Woolworths trolley from the other centre across to Woolworths then you were fined.

It was a bit controversial, but this definitely was happening.

No, it wasn't a shoplifting fine as I was standing there waiting for room at the restaurant next to it. If you pushed the trolley across the road without using the lights (happens almost all the time), that was another fine and a double whammy.

It was definitely a police officer and not a council ranger.

Comments

  • Never heard of this.
    I can't find any info online as to what possible grounds they could have to issue a fine.
    Do you have any further details you could link to?

    • Don't know where OP is, but in some jurisdictions there are laws specifically regarding illegal removal of shopping trolleys, for example Part 4A, Litter Act 2004 (ACT).

      Still this story does sound really weird and there's probably some details we're not getting.

  • Surely they weren't fining people for using it in the carpark though? Were 9 people taking them onto the street?

    • But what business of the cops is it if I parked my car around the corner?
      I have heard of fines for dumping trolleys, but not for using them.
      Something isn't adding up here.

      • Yeah I know it's a bit weird. Not to mention, how does OP know how much their fines were

      • Simple as this… people who "take them around the corner" dont return them..
        Deserve the fine.

        • North Korea is that way ->
          In AU we don't prosecute pre-crimes yet (well, except for a few…)
          For the record I have taken and returned my trolley from one car park to the next.

    • +3 votes

      that's what I think too. Most Carpark has Trolley bay for returned trolleys. It does not make sure if people got fined by pushing the trolley to their car.

  • So you mean they're not even allowed to take it into the car park?

    Why are police enforcing it?

    • Yeah the sorry sounds sus.

      • Maybe people have been really bad and sticking to the speed limits this season.
        The police have to make revenue one way or another : P

    • Why are police enforcing it?

      Maybe the govt is broke!

    • Maybe people in that area are just seriously taking the piss and leaving trolleys everywhere and it's inconveniencing good folk because there aren't enough trolleys at the store? It's extreme but people in my area are constantly leaving the trolleys strewn around town, there has to be a point where fining people becomes acceptable. Strangely they aren't even losing the dollar they need to get the trolley in the first place somehow

  • Maybe they were going over the speed limit in the trolley

  • +11 votes

    Do you know how they were fined? Wonder if those are real police…. or just a scam for money..

  • +14 votes

    Something doesn't add up here. Police can give an on the spot fine for shoplifting, which is more likely what these people were doing (not the trolley leaving the store, but the contents of the trolley not paid for). But that fine is not $1100 as far as I am aware, it is capped at $300 I think. If the offence is great enough, it has to go to court for higher penalties.

    $1100 seems like a strange figure, I don't know of ANY offence that carries an on the spot fine that big.

    • If you are comparing it to petty larceny the police still need to prove intent. Intention to steal a shopping trolley. Highly rebuttable.

  • "This is a migrant area so I don't know why Police are targeting it." - it's very common in apartments for certain races/ people to use a trolley for moving in then dumping them…even in the fire escape. I've seen people 1km away from costco with the xl trolleys.

  • +31 votes

    As most carparks are private property of the shopping Strata or in cases of 'Local Woolworths' commercially owned by Woolworths, I call BS on the story. If they were leaving the actual carpark they deserve it. Trolleys are expensive, and an eyesore when people 'who just borrow' them leave 'em lying around out the front of peoples homes.
    If the item is heavy, take a taxi, call a friend, use online delivery, buy your own personal shopping cart, inconvenience is not an excuse to steal trolleys.

  • +12 votes

    the trolleys are surprisingly expensive (about $500? each) and end up all over the place and in creeks. i don't see anything wrong with restricting their use to the shopping centre.

    but what happens to those who want to buy rice and take it home but don't have a car.

    they buy their own shopping trolleys

    • But the original post is about people getting fined just outside the store.
      It even says people using them to take kids to the car were let off.
      Not trolley dumpers.

    • Each shopping trolley is more like $1500 IIRC. Still, they're that expensive because they're tough and getting wheeled down the road isn't going to hurt them. So, instead of paying a 15yo trolley collector minimum wage to collect them, they're getting police to fine people $1100 for taking them outside the store (supposedly). If true, this story doesn't sit well with me.

  • I saw around 9 people got fined $1100 each, during an hour

    You know how much and how many. Did you happen to write down the offence code for the infringement?

    • Are you insinuating the OP suffers from bi-polar syndrome?
      It's like Fight Club, but with Cops and robbers trolleys, instead.

      • +1 vote

        Bi-polar (sic) doesn't mean what you think it means.

        • I was responding to whooah1979's comment.
          If the OP is fining people for the "infringement" and is also the one complaining about it…
          …it would suggest someone that doesn't he has multiple personalities.

          You're right.
          Not bi-polar, I meant Dissociative Identity Disorder (MPD).

  • Woolworths today for taking the trolley outside of the store. This is a migrant area

    Was this in campsie, Hurstville, Burwood, Ashfield, Strathfield, Cabramatta, Chatswood, carlingford, Eastwood or Chinatown?

    • I hope it was Hurstville, I'm fed up with trolleys being dumped all over the suburb, even left in people's front yard, inside their fence, and inside a number of apartment blocks - which featured in a Leader article with photographs not so long back.

      There's nothing more annoying seeing someone with 2 small plastic bags of stuff in a trolley on the street a kilometre or more from Westfield or Hurstville Central. At least Coles' trolleys at Hurstville Central have locking wheels, but I've seen people dragging them backwards up the street to neutralise the effect.

      Then while the things sits a week or so awaiting collection people toss rubbish into them, which the trolley collectors subsequently throw out onto the street when they collect them.

      To me it IS theft of a valuable item and people should be pinged for it if they leave the shopping precinct with a supermarket trolley. Screw them, and the supermarkets who refuse to fit locking trolleys in Westfield.

      Cheerz Wabster.

    • +1 vote

      Need to include Bankstown, Lakemba, Punchbowl, Roselands, Blacktown, Merrylands, Auburn, Campbelltown…

    • Good find.
      Taking the advice of the warning flyer, I visited the council website and found their policy:
      http://www.ashfield.nsw.gov.au/page/shopping_trolleys.html

      Interesting to note that the fines are for abandoning the trolleys, not taking them from the store (I suppose it is possible a store owner could forbid using the trolley outside their premises, and claim the trolley was stolen, but what store owner wants to see their customers fined? And what court would uphold it?)

      My best guess is the OP saw a ranger handing out these flyers, misread the fine amount and jumped to conclusions about what was going on.
      Looking at their posting history, they have some posts and comments where they have jumped to conclusions that seem pretty outlandish before.

    • ok that makes more sense. It's $110 not $1100 and it's issued by the council, not the police.

    • I live in Ashfield and the trolleys on the streets are a real problem.

  • +1 vote

    gee, I wonder why aldi doesn't have a problem with trolleys not being returned?

    • If you want them, you just steal two. Then you can link them up when you're done.

      Otherwise just stick in a 10c coin.

      • 10cents coin works?

      • That doesn't work. You can link the back one to the front, but you don't have anything to link the front one to, so it still costs you the deposit for one trolley. Also, due to the way the back of the trolley hinges inwards, you can't easily put anything into trolleys which are linked together.

        • That doesn't work. You can link the back one to the front, but you don't have anything to link the front one to, so it still costs you the deposit for one trolley.

          Face them handle to handle. Hell, even stand them facing up on the handle end with the open bits facing each other. Sure it would reach (tried it before, but not on the Aldi trolleys).

          Also, due to the way the back of the trolley hinges inwards, you can't easily put anything into trolleys which are linked together.

          Bring a friend.

        • @tomsco:

          tried it before

          madness!

          edit: i do not know how to format…

        • @chriise:

          madness!

          THIS IS SPARTA!

        • But that is why you take a third trolley!

  • I saw around 9 people got fined $1100 each, during an hour, outside my local Woolworths today for taking the trolley outside of the store.

    Having read the facts in the above linked articles I am more then happy for people to be fined $110 for abondening a trolley instead of returning it to the trolley bay. Shits me to no end how lazy or self cantered some people are.

  • NB: No I didn't get fined, but what happens to those who want to buy rice and take it home but don't have a car.

    They've paid $7 for a bag of rice, there is no free trolley included. They maybe need to get themselves a market trolley on wheels (granny's trolley/ whatever you wan to call it.)

    • Shopping Jeep.

      I wonder if you could buy your own shopping trolley just to mess with them. Or is it illegal to own your own shopping trolley too?

      • I came accross a site the other day that sells them. $120 for the shallow ones that Coles has. The others weren't priced.

  • This is not a police matter. I guess it's just a discussion topic only.

  • +11 votes

    I think OP is mistaking council for police and 110 for 1100 and possibly even the whole story

  • Well if 9 people were caught in an hour, its an obvious and widespread problem and they may be right to crack down. Don't agree with jaywalking laws though.

    Why does it matter if it is a migrant area, we are all under the same laws and noone should be treated differently.

    Hire an uber if you can't carry the rice, if it is within walking distance then its a cheap ride I would imagine.

  • "NB: No I didn't get fined, but what happens to those who want to buy rice and take it home but don't have a car."

    Yes, outrageous! Woolworths should pay for their taxi home! Failing that, there should be an additional welfare supplement with free Uber vouchers to allow for shoppers with bags of rice to get a free lift home, instead of being forced by tricky market forces to steal a one thousand dollar plus trolley, trundle itnall the way home then dump it in a canal or rolling down the hill where it could selfishly cause damage to someone driving home with a bag of rice in tneir car.

    • actually you are wrong, Woolies should provide their own staff to wheel the bag of rice home, then the staff member could bring the trolley back when they go back to the store. And on every 5th trip they could cook the first batch for the customer as well.

  • Clearly police are trying to send a message here after the store has complained about many missing trolleys. I'm not surprised given many people seem to think supermarket trolleys are their personal possessions (in all areas, not just migrant areas). The amount of trolleys you see with people walking home with, you can bet half of those just get dumped on the street.

    Bravo to the police for helping the store take a stand against CRIMINALS (imagine my shock…)

    • If the store is really concerned, they should have a staff member on the exit. Why waste police resources?

      • Because any store should not be responsible for policing criminals. You can bet your bottom dollar they would have tried in the past but customers walking off with trolleys would simply say "call the police". So the store did call the police. It's how it's supposed to work…

    • Police aren't involved, it's the council. The OP has it wrong.

  • Noticed the OP hasn't responded at all, perhaps they are, troll(y)ing?

  • NB: No I didn't get fined, but what happens to those who want to buy rice and take it home but don't have a car.

    Pick one:

    1. Carry it.
    2. Use a backpack.
    3. Use a granny trolley.
    4. Use a yoke.
    5. Balance it on your head.
    6. Bag it and hang it over the handlebars of a bicycle and wheel it.
    7. Get a lift with someone who has a car.
    8. Take public transport.
    9. Get it delivered.
    10. Take an Uber.
    11. Take a taxi.
    12. Buy a smaller bag that you can manage.
    13. Don't buy rice.

    The trolley belongs to the store or shopping centre and if you take it onto the street you have stolen it.

    It amazes and disgusts me how the conduct of people varies across the suburbs of Sydney. I wish people were fined for stealing trolleys; their selfishness unfairly increases prices for everyone and causes a blight on their suburb.

  • The one thing that jibbed me is that there is a system whereby there is someone paid in the community to pick up the trolleys.

    And guess who pays for that in the end?

  • +7 votes

    I think a few of you have been trolled.
    1. The initial story is not believable
    2. OP has not replied to any comments since posting.

  • We are all racist and should show more compassion for kleptomaniacs.

    They have a right to steal shopping trolleys and to dump litter, dead trolleys and empty rice bags wherever and whenever it pleases them.

  • It's become trendy at my local supermarket for student shoppers to shop out of hours in their pyjamas and slippers. I wish that was policed.

  • +6 votes

    Troll i reckon