FALL RIVER — Would you mind not stealing our shopping carts?

That’s the sentiment of some local businesses.

Studies have shown that pilfering those wheeled carts — and purposefully pushing a shopping cart off the premises of a business technically constitutes a theft — costs businesses across the country millions of dollars each year.

In Fall River there’s even a local ordinance that exclusively pertains to the taking and abandonment of shopping carts.

Environment Article III of Chapter 26 — which is intended to eliminate a public nuisance and potential health and safety hazards — makes the shopping cart owner liable to a possible fine and forfeiture of the cart, in the event of it having been abandoned on a city street or sidewalk.

The ordinance, however, makes no reference to the person who takes the shopping cart.

A woman is seen here walking along Rodman Street in late winter using a shopping cart after visiting a local laudromat.

Article III states that the city’s director of the Department of Community Maintenance, or a designee, can authorize DCM staff to collect and remove abandoned shopping carts.

After a cart is taken to the DCM facility, a “notice of impoundment” is mailed to the owner at the address listed on the cart.

Owners are required to “conspicuously and permanently affix” to each shopping cart the name, address and telephone number of the store or business from which it has been taken.