California single mom blasted on social media for not returning shopping carts

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A single mother of two is facing backlash on social media after making a controversial confession: that she doesn’t return her shopping carts at the grocery store.

Dr. Leslie Dobson, a Los Angeles-based clinical and forensic psychologist, posted her brief rant on TikTok and Instagram last week.

“I’m not returning my shopping cart, and you can judge me all you want,” she said.
“I’m not getting my groceries into my car and getting my children into the car and then leaving them in the car. So if you’re going to give me a dirty look, f*** off.”

Social media comments were predictably scathing.

Dr. Leslie Dobson’s social media post about not returning shopping carts drew backlash on social media. May 31, 2024. (@drlesliedobson)

Some users called her “entitled” or a “Karen.” Others suggested that she take her children with her to return the cart to the corral rather than leave them free to roll around the parking lot.

There was, however, some support.

“100% agree with you. I always returned my cart and now that my kids are older I do again,” posted @hackyourdreamlife. “But not until I had little ones did I realize exactly what you are saying. I’m not leaving them in the car without me. Period!”

In a follow up video, Dobson, whose children are ages 3 and 7, further explained herself.

“Last year, 265 children were abducted in parking lots in America. Half of those were sexually assaulted. As a single mom, returning your shopping cart, you are prime for a predator to watch and grab you.”

Dobson told the Los Angeles Times that she hoped the video would get people talking about women prioritizing their safety and the safety of their children.

“If you feel unsafe, the important thing is to trust your intuition and protect yourself and your loved ones versus a societal norm or a judgment that may come your way,” she told The Times.

KTLA’s Erin Myers visited a supermarket parking lot in Culver City on Tuesday where she found most shoppers were, in fact, returning their carts.

“It’s polite. I would like someone to do that for me, so I would like to do it for somebody else,” said Rebecca Cogan.

“This is a sore spot for me because I used to work at a grocery store,” Brian Niehaus shared with KTLA. My first job was getting carts, so I always return the carts … I try not to judge, but I think it’s the courteous thing that you can do.”

According to the nonprofit Kids and Car Safety, 265 cars were stolen with children alone inside in 2022, the last full year of data available. Most of the time the thieves, they say, were not aware a child was in the car.

“What typically follows is the child being abandoned by the car thief either inside the stolen vehicle or left on the side of the road, in a parking lot or somewhere else leaving them susceptible to many dangers,” the nonprofit said.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.