The Huntington Park City Council has passed an ordinance raising the fine for taking a shopping cart off market premises from $50 to $1,000.
"It's just a tremendous amount of time and money we spend picking these things up," Mayor William P. Cunningham said.
The city also has raised the amount it charges market owners to recover impounded carts from $2 to $25. Robert Bowcock, director of field services, said the city hopes to encourage market owners to take measures to keep their carts from being stolen.
Bowcock said the city picks up more than 600 carts a month, costing hundreds of dollars in employee hours. Most of the carts are recovered after they are used to haul groceries or laundry, among other things, he said.