An Alleged Ice Cream Thief Had to Be Rescued from the Side of NYC Building

After a few pints of Häagen-Dazs were taken from a CVS, police pursed the suspect and found him holding onto a ledge in a nearby alley.

If your ice cream run ends up being covered by the local news, you're probably not doing it right. And if your ice cream run ends when you have to be rescued by emergency personnel because you're hanging precariously from the side of a multi-story building, then you're definitely not doing it right.

According to NBC New York, the NYPD was called to a CVS on 1500 Lexington Avenue because someone called 911 to report an ice cream theft. When the cops reached the store, they saw a man who looked like the alleged thief who had been described over the phone. The officers pursued him through a nearby courtyard, and he climbed over a fence—possibly because he didn't know that there was nothing on the other side except a long drop into the alley below.

Tubs of ice cream for sale in Publix Grocery Store
Jeff Greenberg / Contributor/Getty Images

The man was stuck on a small ledge several stories from ground level, hanging on to the fence above with one hand. The cops contacted the Emergency Service Unit (ESU), who got him un-stuck and then took him into custody after allegedly finding eight pints of Häagen-Dazs in his backpack. He was later identified as 30-year-old Anthony Pastore of Staten Island, and he's now facing charges of petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

"After stealing 8 pints of Häagen-Dazs from a local business, this man's getaway didn't go as planned," the NYPD's 23rd Precinct later tweeted. "We found him, rescued him & brought a safe conclusion to this precarious icecapade in #EastHarlem. Thank you @NYPDSpecialops Emergency Services for lifting this man to safety."

Several years ago, some New York City retailers had to deal with a string of premium ice cream thefts. In several of those cases, the thieves took high-priced pints from supermarkets and re-sold them to independent retailers who put them in their own freezer cases—at lower price-points.

Between November 2015 and September 2016, a group of four thieves allegedly pulled off 11 Häagen-Dazs-heavy heists, taking approximately 1,249 cartons of ice cream and gelato from CVS, Duane Read, and Rite Aid stores throughout the city. The New York Times reported that, on a single day in January, some tireless criminals swiped 256 pints (!) of Häagen-Dazs and Talenti gelato during three separate in-store robberies.

"They come at night, like two or three of them, with bags," a Duane Reade employee told the Times. "They fill them up and run out of the store."

As a result of those thefts, the owner of the Gristedes chain offered a $5,000 reward leading to the identification and arrest of the suspects, and some CVS stores started putting locks on their ice cream freezers.

Come on, stealing ice cream just isn't... cool. (I'm so sorry.)

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