A customer at a Bismarck WalMart reportedly found a long razor blade embedded in the handle of her shopping cart.
Many urban legends are based on the concept of evildoers (seemingly motivated by no reason other than wanting to cause harm to others) secreting razor blades in public places where they will slash innocent, random victims — taping them to playground equipment, inserting them into Halloween treats, or hiding them in clothing for adults and children on store shelves.
Tales involving hidden razor blades are correctly classified as “urban legends” even though they do play out in real life from time to time (as noted in some of the examples linked above), because fears and reports about such activities are much greater than their actual occurrence, and because real examples often turn out to be the result of accidents, mistakes, or hoaxes rather than deliberate intents to cause harm.
Nonetheless, on 9 June 2015 the Bismarck Tribune reported a case of a WalMart shopper in that town who said she discovered a sharp blade embedded in the plastic handle of a store shopping cart:
A Dawson, N.D., woman shopping at the WalMart at 2717 Rock Island Place in Bismarck thought that her shopping cart handle had a sharp piece of plastic. Then her son noticed something.
“He said, ‘Mom, there’s something metal poking out of the handle,'” said Lisa Zimmerman, who discovered a long razor blade, such as those found in utility or box-cutting knives, was embedded in the handle.
Zimmerman said that she likely would have sliced her hand had she wiped the handle with a sanitizing wipe.
In a telephone interview, Zimmerman said her immediate reaction was to notify store managers. Two managers responded, she said.
“They handled it well. They were just as upset about it as I was,” Zimmerman said.
“Nobody got hurt. Nobody got cut,” she said, adding that her only concern was raising public awareness.
The customer filed a report with local police, and a WalMart spokesperson said the company was aware of the report:
We appreciate the customer bringing this to our attention, and we’re relieved that no one was injured,” said Betsy Harden, reporting that store employees inspected all shopping carts at the south Wal-Mart location and found no other razor blades. “We’re looking into this. We take it very seriously.”