NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Talk about cold-blooded thieves — police are looking for suspects who made off with more than 1,000 cartons of ice cream in Manhattan.
As CBS2’s Fatima Rahmatullah reported, if you’ve recently bought ice cream from a small corner store, there’s a slight chance it may have been stolen.
“I buy ice cream from my Bodega all the time. I didn’t know it could be stolen,” Katie Webber said, “My husband and I, we love Talenti.”
She is one of many who has trouble finding their favorite ice cream flavors in markets across the city.
That’s because criminals have been stealing ice a cream from chain stores, and reselling them to small corner stores. Kevin Sutorius, manager of a Gristedes, has seen it play out plenty of times.
“Normally they’ll have somebody looking out outside, and someone will come in with no bag or so it seems,” he said.
He said thieves look for 14 oz cartons of Haagen Daz, Talenti, and Ben & Jerry’s. They bring their own duffel bags, fill them with as much product as possible, and run out the door.
Chain stores responded by marking the containers to stop the criminals.
“The stamp says basically ‘not for resale’ and has our store number on it,” Sutorious said.
Ice cream theft has become a serious problem, so far this year there have been 250 incidents with 230 arrests.
“We treat every crime as a serious problem, but it’s a pattern run by the grand larceny division,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
It’s a serious crime, but even cops can’t resist a pun.
“Recommendation that we assign our cold case squad,” the commissioner said.
The stolen containers retail for $6 or $7 each.