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Thieves Claim ‘It’s My Birthday,’ Steal Cake from Ice Cream Shop Owner

Loyal customer winds up saving the day for a beleaguered Baskin-Robbins owner in Vallejo, California

Image Credit: Baskin Robbins, CC BY-ND 2.0, by L. Cheryl - Flickr

Des Bruce was the recipient of an unwelcome gift on her birthday this Thursday at the Vallejo, California, Baskin-Robbins shop she owns.

“OK, this is breaking my heart,” the 38-year-old Bruce wrote on her Facebook page yesterday.

A group of five young adults came into her shop at about 5 p.m., and were ordering ice cream, Bruce told LifeZette in an interview.

Then, one of the individuals — who was wearing pajamas and a hair net — announced it was his birthday and walked out the door with her biggest cake, without paying for it.

The incident was caught on surveillance footage.

“They laughed like it was the funniest thing ever,” Bruce said in a Facebook post on the shop’s page. “The worst part is today’s my birthday.”

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“It honestly felt like an impromptu decision that led the group into stealing a cake. They all knew what was going on and decided to treat the incident as a joke rather than an actual act of stealing,” Bruce told LifeZette.

But to add insult to injury, one of the thugs, a girl, threw her ice cream at Bruce.

“My employee and I were truly shocked by what happened,” Bruce said.

There’s a bright spot in the story, though. The thieves weren’t able to enjoy their tasty plunder after all, thanks to the intervention of a loyal customer and friend.

“When they got into the unlicensed black Hyundai car, my good friend and customer Andrew was able to pull his truck in front to block them from leaving. They honestly didn’t have a choice but to give back the cake,” said Bruce.

“It hurts my heart to see them act like that, as if it was a big joke … Things are rough as it is,” she said in the Facebook post chronicling the incident.

“We are a small community-based store, so we know most everyone who walks through our door.”

Bruce wasn’t joking about things being “rough” for the scrappy little shop. Last September, a man threw a rock through the glass door, causing thousands of dollars in damage, and made off with seven ice cream cakes. On Thanksgiving evening, just a couple of months later, the store experienced another break-in; a thief went after some fake money hanging above the cash register. This thief, too, broke through the shop’s glass door — causing a great deal of damage.

“We are a small, community-based store, so we know most everyone who walks through our doors. Which is honestly one of the reasons why I fight so hard to keep the store opened,” said Bruce.

Even with the trouble the shop’s experienced, when a friend suggested on social media that Bruce should consider scouting out a new location, she responded, “My heart is still Vallejo.”

Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.

(photo credit, article image: Baskin Robbins, CC BY-ND 2.0, by L. Cheryl)

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