Boy, this subject has really touched a nerve with the original questioner. Anyway, let’s assume the cop can prove the homeless person has stolen the cart from a particular store or accepted it from another party, knowing that it was stolen property. You’re looking at a misdemeanor, probably a suspended jail sentence and/or a fine. Now, hopefully, that experience would rattle the person and they’d change their life of possessing hot shopping carts. But let’s say the homeless person never pays the fine or complies with probation. Now, every time an officer runs a check on the person, a bench warrant on failure to comply or failure to pay fine pops up. The person is probably hauled to jail, booked in for about $140 and then released. Is this how you want our justice system to spends its resources? I don’t know about where you live, but in Washington state, we face serious jail overcrowding. I’d much rather see people who need to be separated from society in jail and in our courts than a homeless person with a fondness for shopping carts. If we as a society want to punish everyone for every imaginable infraction, then we must also be willing to shell out more money to build more jails and hire more prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, clerks and police officers. In Washington state, we have hundreds of thousands of outstanding warrants because we no longer have room in our jails. Right or wrong, it’s a matter of priority.