Theft of supermarket trollies by students is a growing issue, say Asda and the University of Leicester.
They claim that students from the University of Leicester are frequently taking shopping trollies from Asda in Oadby, and that it has been going on for at least eight years.
In one instance a trolley was found up a tree at the student accommodation in The Village at Oadby.
Leicester students living in the halls of residence are taking their shopping home in trollies, despite the presence of electromagnetic brakes.
One student, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “If you lift the trolley up and carry it five metres, the lock releases and you can push it as normal.”
Another student, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “One trolley appeared in my friend’s kitchen, and no one knows how it got there.”
A customer service manager at Asda Oadby said: “It is theft, effectively the same as if they took items from the store.”
“It affects customer service, because there aren’t enough trollies.”
“The retrieval comes at a cost of using a company to collect the trollies.”
“The small trollies cost £90 and the big ones cost between £120 and £130.”
Jonathon Dancey, assistant manager (residences) at Oadby student village, said: “There are 20-40 shopping trollies (stolen) per week, but that is only the ones that you see.”
Mr Dancey added: “It has been going on forever. I have been here for eight years, and it has been a problem ever since I started studying here.
“It gives the university a bad look on open days.”
But the problem doesn’t seem to have a clear resolution.
Mr Dancey said: “We have had largely unsuccessful attempts to stop students from taking trollies, by using signs saying they will get in trouble and on the spot telling-offs.
“We find it is better just to accommodate Asda by collecting the trollies behind reception and phoning them up to collect them.”