Shopping carts at the Walmart on Academy Road have gone missing over the last half year, which has patrons and employees frustrated and puzzled as to why.
A Walmart employee, who chooses to remain anonymous, said last week while on break her and another co-worker witnessed someone with a truck load up about 20 baskets and leave.
The employee speculated it seems the carts are being scrapped for their metal or could possibly be rebranded and sold to other stores. It is not just homeless people taking the carts for storage use, the worked noted.
Cart attendant Keegan said the store used to have about 300 carts, but that over the last six months thieves have taken more than 225. According to him, there are only 75 carts left.
Customers were searching the lots for carts when there were none available. Cart attendants scrambled to get the few they could for customers entering the store. As cart attendants brought in 10 carts at a time, customers were taking them too quickly to sustain cart quantities.
Walmart customers Yolanda and Stephanie said, “We think it’s disgusting, and something should be done about it.” The ladies further explained it’s difficult for elderly patrons to go looking around the lots for a cart.
Pam, who was looking inside and out for a cart before entering, said she didn’t know there was a theft issue with shopping carts and said, “That’s crazy and bizarre, I just don’t understand why they would be taking them in the first place.”
Not just Walmart
Gloria Caetano said the Smith’s on Montgomery Boulevard was having the same problem. “You think you’ve seen it all … and now shopping rustling!” she said.
Leslie Keller said on Nextdoor, “This has happened to me several times at 3 different Walmart’s,” in reference to not being able to find a cart.
Walmart managers said they no longer have any hand baskets as well, due to people not bringing them back inside during the plastic bag ban.
Requests for comment from the Albuquerque Police Department were not returned.