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Thousands of supermarket carts have been stolen across the country as children use them to collect firewood for the traditional Lag B'Omer bonfires.

Clubmarket, which operates 120 branches, estimates that some 500 carts have been stolen at a value of NIS 203,000. Blue Square, which operates 160 outlets, said about 2,000 carts, valued at NIS 810,000, have been stolen.

The two chains estimated that 20 percent of the shopping carts of the three largest chains - Clubmarket, Blue Square and Supersol - are stolen each year. Adults account for most of this, while youth are said to account for up to a third of all the thefts during the Lag B'Omer season.