SCRANTON — A supermarket chain has taken some extreme measures to stop shopping cart thefts.
After losing hundreds of them each year, Gerrity’s is making it a little harder to steal them from its stores in Scranton.
Nothing has changed at Gerrity’s for shoppers using their carts in the store. You can still easily take them out to your car in the parking lot, too.
But Gerrity’s owner Joe Fasula showed us what happens if you try to take it off the lot.
The cart stops itself.
“You see this wheel in the front here is different than the other wheels. That is the locking wheel.”
Fasula says Gerrity’s invested in these new carts at its three stores in Scranton. He says they should pay for themselves in a year and a half.
“Every two to three years we end up ordering 100 to 200 carts and at about $100 apiece. As you can imagine it’s something we really need to address somehow,” said Fasula.
Signs are up on the store and in the carts to warn customers. A painted line in the lot shows the limit before they lock up. A wire is buried under the pavement around the entire lot.
“It’s exactly like the invisible dog fence, except the customers don’t get shocked!” Fasula said.
If the wheels lock up, don’t think you can just two-wheel it out of there. They’ve though of that too, by putting a stopping mechanism on the back.
“I think it’s pretty neat, something cool to see, something neat they can do to keep everything safe,” said Michelle Lamagna of Scranton.
Lamagna has seen carts all over the city and understands why the store had to do something.
“They’re everywhere, all over the place, wherever you go, different parking lots.”
Most shoppers won’t notice a change unless, of course they try to be a cart crook.
“That’s good, that’s good. This way you don’t find them all over the place, and supermarkets don’t have to keep buying them,” said Bob Amerosa of Lake Ariel.
All it takes is simple click of a remote and the cart is unlocked, safe and back in business.