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Seven shopping carts were parked under a tree Thursday on Moffat Boulevard where the conceptual site for a dog park is located. - photo by DENNIS WYATT

What’s the most popular place to dump pilfered shopping carts in Manteca?

Try the “conceptual” site for the long promised dog park on Moffat Boulevard.

On Thursday there were seven shopping carts taken from the four corners of Manteca left under a tree on the city-owned site. A couple of them even had rolls of stripped cable (gee, wonder what they took from the cable?) among other junk.

Manteca’s Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police volunteers do a Herculean job on a routine basis of making note of abandoned shopping cart locations and notifying businesses where they are at. They hadn’t made the rounds yet on Moffat.

Not saying all people who “steal” shopping carts — it is illegal to take them off the premise of stores that do won them — are “thieves” but the City of Manteca might want to keep that in mind when they break ground on the nearby Moffat Community Center in the coming weeks.

Pilferage was an issue just up the street when the Manteca Transit station was built. They went as far as to cut hoses off the transit center’s charging stations for electric cars after they were put in place thinking erroneously that they had recycling value.

The dog park would remove the area where the shopping carts are located. Not only is it popular for parking swiped shopping carts but from time-to-time homeless will set up camp overnight on the far side of the tree.

The transit station sees its share of homeless but usually they are parked under the canopies in vehicles either eating and listening to their car radio or catching a little shut eye during the day.

Putting a dog park on Moffat could do one of two things: It could further force a retreat of the homeless presence or it could create concerns about the safety of park users. The motels on Moffat have more than their share of police calls although most are for parolees violating conditions of their release. The vast majority of motel guests, however, are simply people trying to get by and do so without breaking the law.