Delivery Truck Driver Accused Of Stealing Ice Cream

NEWARK (AP) - A Newark man has been charged with grand theft for allegedly stealing $31,000 worth of ice cream from his employer, Velvet Ice Cream, and selling it at a discount to five Columbus stores.

Velvet officials in Utica began monitoring customer orders more than three months ago after two employees said that they observed Alan Taylor taking more than his share for deliveries to Columbus.

The ice cream caper allegedly started in December 2000 and ended on Thursday when the 56-year-old Taylor was arrested.

Taylor also was fired, along with another suspect in the case who has not been charged.

After first learning about the ice cream thefts, Velvet started monitoring customer orders. Velvet President Joe Dager said that there were certain customers whose orders weren't as large as normal.

When asked about the drop in purchases, Dager said that the customers admitted buying ice cream from Taylor.

Dager said that the sheriff's department is investigating those unnamed stores.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)