STAMFORD — A Cove man has been accused of causing nearly $10,000 worth of damage to 27 shopping carts because he was tired of seeing them littering his street.

Robert Leder, 46, of Van Buskirk Avenue, was charged with first-degree criminal mischief and was released after posting a $25,000 court appearance bond.

According to Leder’s two-page arrest affidavit, police were notified in late September that ShopRite employees were finding badly damaged shopping carts in one area of the Cove.

The store recovered 26 of the carts — all on Van Buskirk Avenue — that were so badly damaged they had to be either repaired or replaced at a cost of $9,814, according to an invoice provided to police by ShopRite.

A Stamford police officer on Sept. 30 who was working an overtime job at ShopRite, was told by the store’s loss prevention officer that he was going on a stake-out at the intersection of Van Buskirk, Sachem Place and Uncas Road.

A store employee told the security officer earlier that day he saw a white man pushing one of the carts into his garage. When the employee came back 20 minutes later, he found a badly damaged cart parked in front of the home, the affidavit said.

The loss prevention officer told the police officer later that night he saw a man fitting the description push a cart from the intersection of Van Buskirk and Sachem Place into the garage of a home, the affidavit said.

The police officer went to the house and found Leder with the shopping cart, the affidavit said.

The officer noticed the cart was from ShopRite and the bottom rack had been cut out, making it unrepairable, according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Leder told the officer he took the carts for several weeks and damaged them because he was tired of seeing them abandoned on his street.

jnickerson@scni.com;