Park Thieves Favour Tutti Frutti Ice Cream
Saturday night break-in at Acton Park Cafe
ActonW3.com can exclusively reveal the favourite ice cream flavour preferred by thieves who broke into the Acton Park Cafe at the weekend. We also spoke to a Thames Water Security Officer who had heard suspicious noises at around 11.00pm on Saturday night.
Gabriella, the proprietor of Acton Park Cafe was on her way to work at 9am on Sunday morning last weekend, when she noticed the cafe had been burgled. "I could not believe my eyes when I arrived. The door was wide open."
An early dog-walker had already alerted the police who arrived just as Gabriella was preparing to call them. The thieves, Gabriella believes, had made things ready for the theft by unlocking one of the doors. She also thinks they came prepared as they had to use considerable force in order to get in. Gabriella told me: "The thieves helped themselves to any food they liked. They took the cartons of strawberry, chocolate and tutti frutti ice cream and left behind the rum and raisin, mint chocolate chip and vanilla."
For those who are interested, the policeman who attended the scene admitted his favourite flavour is rum and raisin.
The thieves also revealed a conservative taste in chocolate: "They took Mars bars and Kitkats, but didn't touch the Ritter Sport chocolate I keep." They also helped themselves to drinks from the cooler cabinet.
We spoke to one of the Thames Water security guards who definitely heard something on Saturday night: "I heard a banging noise and thought someone was hitting the wooden structure." (This is the high wooden edifice opposite the cafe which surrounds one of the huge areas fenced off by Thames Water, see right). He said he had heard the noise at 11.00pm on Saturday night. He also told us "I was on alert because I had found two gentlemen in the yard a few nights beforehand."
Gabriella regards the theft as a bit of a bore, but this spirited new proprietor of the Park Cafe intends to step up her security and is open for business as usual, though during the winter months she will reduce her hours to 9.30am - 5.00pm.
When we visited her to hear about the break-in, we couldn't resist a cup of tea accompanied by one of Gabriella's delicious blueberry muffins. Although it was a particularly grey, drizzly day, there were some cheerful mums making the most of the cosy, clean surroundings with their babies. Playgroup in the Play Hut finishes at 2.30pm, so there are quite a few who come to the cafe to refresh themselves after a tiring play.
This is a haven for those on their way through the park and worth a visit as a diversion, too. There is a very cosy atmosphere, newspapers to read, plenty of clean toys to play with and lots to look at. The Acton Breakfast sounds particularly good.
The cafe has been much improved since Gabriella took over, though she admits it is a shame she took over at the same time as Thames Water moved in to the park. She plans further improvements to the cafe over the next few months. The venue is available for parties and anyone interested should contact Gabriella.
October 5, 2007