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PALO ALTO (KPIX) — Two family-owned ice cream shops in Palo Alto were burglarized just two days apart, with the ashes of two employees who worked at one of the businesses being among the stolen items.
The owner of Peninsula Creamery Dairy Store and Grill told KPIX that the ashes of his father and brother were stolen during the April 3 break-in. His dad’s ashes were dumped and recovered, but his brother’s ashes remain missing.
Less than four miles away, Rick’s Rather Rich Ice Cream Shop was burglarized just after midnight on April 1.
Kiki Khosla — whose family has owned the business for nearly a decade — said she happened to look at their surveillance camera footage the night of the break-in and was stunned by what she saw.
The entire 45-minute burglary was caught on camera. It shows a man wearing gloves with his face and head covered ransacking the shop.
“He was definitely taking his time the first couple of minutes, he was crawling in the front,” Khosla said. “I definitely cried, because the shop has always been very close to our hearts.”
The burglar broke a window to gain access to an office where he proceeded to yank out a bolted-down safe and drag it outside. Several thousand dollars were stolen from Rick’s, which has been around for seven decades.
“It’s an institution here,” said long-time customer Kerah Cottrell.
The thief or thieves who hit Peninsula Creamery Dairy also stole cash, including a year’s worth of tips that two employees had been saving. A GoFundMe page has raised several thousand dollars for the victims.
“It’s awful that they’ve been burglarized,” said long-time Rick’s customer Henrik Jones.
Khosla said the silver lining since the break-in is the community that has come out to show their support, one scoop at a time.
“We can’t thank them enough and we’re only here because of customers like that,” said Khosla. “We have been able to survive the pandemic and hopefully we will survive this as well.”
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