Stealing shopping trolleys: Is there a fine?

by Johannes

Stealing a shopping trolley from the supermarket is not a trivial offence. If you are found to have stolen a shopping trolley, you may be fined. We inform you about the possible consequences.

Striking a shopping trolley – these are the consequences of taking it with you

Lugging heavy shopping home is unpleasant. So it can be tempting to use your shopping trolley to transport your groceries home. But whether you call it “borrowing” or “stealing” – taking a shopping trolley can have serious consequences.

  • If you return the shopping trolley to the supermarket immediately, you have not committed theft. In that case, it is a so-called presumption of use.
  • Unlike theft, presumption of use is not punishable. However, the supermarket is free to have the matter civilly prosecuted as an infringement of property.
  • The supermarket operator makes his intentions clear by the signs you see in and outside the supermarket. These usually clearly prohibit taking a shopping trolley off the supermarket premises.
  • If the supermarket operator pursues the matter legally, this can result in a fine. Unauthorised take-aways may also result in a ban from the supermarket, which means they would not be allowed to shop at that supermarket for a set period of time.

Shopping trolley stolen – face this penalty

Take a shopping trolley from the supermarket and are found to have stolen it with intent to steal, you face the following penalties:

  • A theft can be punished with imprisonment of up to five years or a fine under section 242 of the Criminal Code.
  • Even if you could not return the shopping trolley to the supermarket for understandable reasons, you should have informed the owner.
  • Conclusion: The damage caused to supermarkets every year by shopping trolley theft runs into millions. A single shopping trolley costs between 100 and 150 euros. The risk of being punished for theft should therefore not be underestimated. That’s why you should not take the chance – and rather buy a practical trolley or a foldable trolley with which you can get your shopping home comfortably and without committing a crime.
  • That a shopping trolley may not be taken without permission is

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