PALMYRA, N.Y. (WROC) — A long-time ice cream shop in Palmyra was the scene of a burglary on Monday.
The Chill and Grill Ice Cream shop has been around for 26 years, and up until this point, had never dealt with any crime towards their business.
The shop is a staple in the Palmyra community. It’s heralded as, among other things, a place where most kids in town get their first job. Owner Jeff Stevens said he has been operating the shop for over two decades, raising all three of his kids at the shop with fond memories.
“I remember the kids standing on a milk crate at the register ringing customers because they couldn’t see over it,” Stevens said. “It was awesome.”
When Stevens came to work on Monday to find the front door to his shop shattered, he was heartbroken.
“As soon as I walked in the door, I knew something was wrong,” he said. “There was a mess on the floor and I was like, ‘Okay, that’s unusual.’ And I see the safe’s gone. I take one step and I noticed the glass is broken on the door, and the doors all smashed down. They tried to get the ATM first. They just didn’t succeed with that. And then they just went on to grab whatever they could get their hands on.”
Employee payroll, tips, and two days’ worth of revenue were all in the safe box that was stolen, costing thousands of dollars.
Luckily, Stevens used to own a security company and has his shop decked out with cameras.
“They want in, then they want it,” he said. “They were here for four and a half minutes total. They weren’t here for very long.”
Stevens posted the video to the shop’s Facebook page, gaining over 1,000 shares and 68,000 views in just under two days.
“There’s a light at the end of the rainbow because the community that came together for us was amazing,” he said. “They’re trying to donate money to us, which we don’t want. But it was just amazing to see the community come together like that. And that kind of actually turned me right around, I’m in better spirits now.”
Despite Stevens having lost thousands, he said he doesn’t want to take donations from the community, he wants to give back to the community.
“We’re going to have a pink sprinkle day to represent our hearts. To thank everybody, you’re going to get free sprinkles on everything,” he said. “That’s what we’ve always been about. We give back to the community and that’s how my family is. The community gives to us by being our customers. So, we’re the winners in the end.”
Free pink sprinkle day is happening June 30 at the Chill and Grill located at 616 East Main Street in Palmyra.