The real reason behind Tucson’s high food prices

Bananas skin our wallets at 59 cents per pound. A single red pepper pops bank account, often weighing in at more than $1.50. Give us a break.

Sure, it’s rather costly to have fresh fruits and veggies hauled to the middle of the desert from those faraway, lush places in which they thrive. But that’s not the real reason behind Tucson’s high food prices.

The culprit is the stolen shopping cart.

These four-wheeled creatures show up in some of the strangest places. Shopping cart spottings of late have included the wash, the river walk, random street corners, several bus stops and behind a post office on Speedway Boulevard where two carts were converging on a mailbox. They appeared to be accosting the poor defenseless mail container who could not even be saved by the threat of federal prosecution.

Carts accosting a mailbox/Ryn Gargulinski

Carts accosting a mailbox/Ryn Gargulinski

Supermarkets across the city have not issued any reports that pinpoint exactly how much money is lost due to stolen shopping carts, but we can surmise stores make up the loss by over-pricing peppers.

Cart at a bus stop/Ryn Gargulinski

Cart at a bus stop/Ryn Gargulinski

Stolen shopping carts are so common and costly that some stores employ brake shoe locks that stop the cart from rambling beyond the store’s parking lot. Others imprint the kiddie seats with a warning that it’s not nice to steal.

Best Buy cart on river walk, miles from any Best Buy/Ryn Gargulinski

Best Buy cart on river walk, miles from any Best Buy/Ryn Gargulinski

Still others may caution a security camera is watching the potential thief from a tower somewhere where a guard is equipped with the same weaponry found at Pelican Bay State Prison.

Pelican Bay guard tower/Ryn Gargulinski

Pelican Bay guard tower/Ryn Gargulinski

To make matters even costlier, Arizona Revised Statute 44-1799.33 explains how the shopping cart’s original owners may have to reimburse the city if the cart has become impounded after laying around in the wash, river walk, random street corner, bus stop or converging on a mailbox on Speedway.

How unfair. Fines should be issued instead to those caught stealing the carts or using them as playthings in the sand.

Tucson, fight back. Bring those wayward shopping carts back home. Shopping carts found out and about can be returned to their store of origin by simply attaching them with bungee cords to your car roof.

Roll the cart directly to the store manager and tell him where you found it and how you went to great lengths to bring it back. Then ask for a discount on bananas and peppers.

You never know. It may just work. And it will also save that poor Speedway mailbox from further harassment.

Anyone not sure what is meant by “shopping cart,” can check out the definition at ARS 44-0179.31

Where’s the strangest place you’ve seen a wayward shopping cart?

Have you ever stolen a shopping cart? If yes, shame on you.

Have you ever returned one to its rightful owner? If yes, you deserve a free banana.


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, environment, Police/fire/law, Stupidity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The real reason behind Tucson’s high food prices

  1. RADC MAXIMUS says:

    First, you tell us to help the homeless. Now you want us to snitch out these unfortunate folks? Shame on you Rynski! 🙂 All kidding aside, I wish I had a buck for every time I have seen someone taking their groceries home in the cart!

  2. Rynski says:

    Well, I’m a Gemini. I can never make up my mind which side of an issue I’m on (haha).

    People so merrily cart the carts down the street. I tried to snap a pic of THREE people in a row stealing three carts from the Alvernon/Grant Wal-Mart but I was driving and the photo came out blurry. No regard, these folks. I’ve stopped eating red peppers because of them.

  3. westiewest says:

    Considering the need for jobs, having a “cart cop” on the premises might help cut down the stealing!

    And while I will be criticized for “profiling”, ever notice the people who are most responsible for stealing carts? Hispanic women.

    • Rynski says:

      The “cart cop” is a great idea. He could be armed with big metal pipes that he would stick beneath the cart wheels when a cart thief tried to flee.

  4. Romeo says:

    Well I’m a Cancer so I tend to horde stuff but when I was a kid we would round up the abandoned carts and strip off the wheels then use them on homemade gocarts. We would also swipe lumber and nails from construction sites to build forts for protection during BB gun fights w/other delinquents=ah, the good ‘ol days!
    On the other hand I believe food is more expensive because of rising fuel prices affecting the entire industry, transportation, fertilizer, pesticides, etc. I’m digging that guys Specialized Stumpjumper at the bus stop too!

    • Rynski says:

      If you’re going to do something constructive with the carts, like use the wheels for go-carts or make furniture or artwork, then it might be OK to steal the carts. I’m not sure on that one. It’s too undecided-ly Gemini for me.

  5. arizonaadam says:

    I hate red peppers and bananas!

  6. azmouse says:

    I was shopping at my neighborhood Fry’s yesterday. While I was at the checkout, the lady that had just been ahead of me was leaving. As she left, she stopped at every single vacant checkout and took all of the plastic bags…I mean she ripped them right off that metal stand thingy they have them hanging on, and stole every single plastic bag. I told the lady at my checkout what was happening, and she said thanks to people like her, our prices keep ging up because Fry’s has to purchase those bags. That lady walked out with hundreds of them.
    I tried to find her when I was done at my checkout, because I would’ve taken the bags from her and returned them to the store, but she was already gone. The Fry’s employees told me they aren’t allowed to confront anyone when they do stuff like that.

    • Rynski says:

      what a jerk!
      maybe it’s the same lady who lets her dogs poo in the litterbox and she needs all those bags to clean it out? haha.

    • squaloris says:

      Makes it especially difficult to when the self-service checkout screams “Put the item into the bag!” over and over.

      Perhaps they could put the bags in a cart at the end of each checkout so it would be easier to steal them?

  7. Pingback: pets mart

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s