St. Paul man allegedly steals ice cream truck on sweltering July 4
|Not the exact van that was Facente's target, but this one is also a Ford converted to an ice cream truck.|
At least that's what 26-year-old St. Paul resident Joseph Allen Facente did, police say. On Wednesday, Facente hopped into the truck at a SuperAmerica, where its owner left it running in order to keep his frozen treats cold, the Pioneer Press reports. While he was inside, witnesses told him that a man had just driven away with his van, a 1997 Ford Econoline he converted into an ice cream truck.
The owner reported the van stolen, and a Mendota Heights officer caught up with Facente at I-35 and MN-13. After he was turned over to St. Paul police, Facente reportedly told them he did not steal it. He had permission to sell ice cream, he said, and was on his way to "Frogtown--they love me over there."
This is at least the first ice cream truck theft in recent memory, says St. Paul police spokesman Howie Padilla. However, the day before Facente's joy ride, another man did try to hijack a Schwan's truck in St. Paul. In that case, the Schwan's driver fought the wannabe-hijacker out of the truck, holding onto the $13,000 in product he was carrying.
Facente was charged with theft of a motor vehicle, the Pioneer Press reports. According to court records, he also has prior convictions for careless driving and two third-degree drug sales.
The van was recovered, but no word on whether all of the ice cream was still in it.