A grandad who has been gathering trollies dumped around his estate in a bid to tidy the area up has said he is being “mugged off” by the supermarket.

Bernie Lucker has picked up 65 trollies so far, one for every year of his life, from all along River Way, with Andover’s Tesco Extra store lying just around the corner.

The community-minded pensioner, who has been trying to break into the care industry, has been storing them in his back garden while he has been trying to get the supermarket to pick them up, but to no avail.

“I got in touch with their head office,” he said, “and got given a 48 hour period in October when they were meant to be collected. But that’s been and gone. It feels like I’m being mugged off.”

The 65-year-old said he was happy to take the trollies back to the store himself, but said that members of the public “can’t get in touch with the store anymore.”

“I worked with Tesco for years,” he said, “and have no issues with them. I just want to return what’s theirs.”

The trollies at the Tesco Extra normally have a one pound coin operated trolley lock, but these are currently disabled to reduce the number of touchpoints customers have with items during the Covid pandemic.

As a result, trollies can be more easily removed from store premises. In 2017, this was estimated to see up to a million trollies abandoned across the UK, costing businesses £35 million a year.

After being contacted by the Advertiser, Tesco said that they had been in touch with Bernie to arrange for the trollies to be returned to the Tesco Extra.

They encouraged members of the public to report abandoned trollies using TrolleyWise, which works with a number of supermarkets to return trollies to them.

A Tesco spokesperson told the Advertiser: “We encourage all our visitors to Andover Extra to return their trolleys once they have finished their shop for other customers to use. We employ a specialist company to rescue our trollies when they have been taken way from a store and we’d urge anyone who sees an abandoned Tesco trolley to let their local store know so we can get it back as soon as possible.

“We’ve arranged for the trolleys stored by Mr Lucker to be collected and returned to our store and would like to thank him for his assistance and bringing this to our attention.”