Alleged Shopping Cart Thief Arrested

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Thieves in Scranton are targeting  shopping carts. One supermarket said it has had around 70 stolen in the last two months.

Police said Price Rite on Luzerne Street in Scranton had several carts stolen Thursday morning. That supermarket said thieves have taken 70 carts in recent weeks.

Other stores report thefts too.

Police said they arrested the man Thursday afternoon who they think is responsible for some of the thefts.

Newswatch 16 was there as Scranton police arrested Peter Iacavazzi at Weitsman Scrap Yard on Keyser Avenue.

Officers said the man from Scranton tried to sell the carts for scrap and Weitsman's called the police.

Iacavazzi denies they are stolen.

"No," Iacavazzi said. "A couple carts I dumped off. I go though alleys and get scrap. That's where you get it at. People buy the carts."

While Iacavazzi questions his arrest, police said Price Rite on Luzerne Street has been targeted numerous times.

The manager said 70 carts were stolen in the last couple months. Each one costs the store $125.

Police think Iacavazzi is responsible for at least some of the thefts.

Shoppers are shocked that carts are a target for thieves.

"Everyone is trying to get a dollar now a days. They think they're feeding their family, even though it's a crime, it's wrong," said Trudy Lipinski.

"It's ridiculous. What are you going to do with a grocery cart? I can understand borrowing it and bringing it back or whatever if you have to walk home, but to steal them, that's ridiculous," said Carlos Agueda.

Redner's Warehouse on Seventh Avenue has had some carts stolen too. Police said workers there spotted the Price Rite carts in the back of a truck this time. That led to the arrest later in the day.

Shoppers said thieves will steal anything now-a-days.

"It surprises me. I don't know why they'd steal them," said Pat Yanni. "If it's not nailed down, they'll take it."

Iacavazzi admitted having some shopping cars on the day of his arrest. "I had a couple of them," he said.

While police were arresting Iacavazzi for having the carts they found something else is his truck, a stop sign. They said he was trying to sell that for scrap too.

"I think it's terrible. They have nothing else to do, especially during the holy season of Easter," said Anne Archibald.

Police said for now Iacavazzi will be charged with receiving stolen property for the shopping carts he tried to sell Thursday and for that stop sign.

Investigators are trying to connect him to some of the other cart thefts.