Police confident they're on track in pursuit of ice cream shop burglars

Salem - The town's resident state trooper said Tuesday that police believe they have identified two potential suspects and the vehicle that was used in the burglary of a popular ice cream shop.

Resident State Trooper Kevin Seery said police are extremely confident they have found the red Dodge Ram truck that was connected to the Sunday morning burglary of Salem Valley Farms Ice Cream.

He also said that police have identified two potential suspects, although no arrests had been made as of Tuesday night.

Salem Valley Farms was burglarized about 3:30 a.m. Sunday a short time after another burglary at Fox Hopyard Golf Club in East Haddam. Police believe the two incidents to be connected, and the owner of the ice cream business said the masked burglars, described by police as two white males, got away with about $200 from her business.

It was the sixth time in eight years that Salem Valley Farms Ice Cream has been broken into, owner Jane Scacciaferro said. She and her husband, Joe, bought the business on Darling Road about eight years ago and were also the victims of an unsolved 2010 burglary shortly after Memorial Day weekend in which thieves stole more than $20,000.

"I'm infuriated. I'm disgusted," Scacciaferro said Tuesday. "It's ridiculous. It's a little family-owned business. It's an ice cream store."

Scacciaferro said following the burglary two years ago that she and her husband spent about $5,000 on a new security and surveillance system and other safeguards to prevent future thefts. They purchased a new safe and replaced an office door with one with an extra dead bolt.

The burglars on Sunday broke that door, but were unable to get away with the safe, which Scacciaferro said was bolted down. The Scacciaferros were forced to call in repairmen Monday and were uncertain how much the damage would cost them.

"We're still working on it," Jane Scacciaferro said. "Labor Day is not the day to be replacing doors, but we had to secure the place."

Photos on the Facebook page for Salem Valley Farms Ice Cream showed a police cruiser pulled up behind a red Dodge Ram truck, which did not have a license plate. The truck was described as having amber roof lights and black molding around the sides. The Facebook photos appeared to show the truck abandoned along the side of a rural road.

Seery and state police at Troop K said they were working to link the truck to footage captured by surveillance cameras. Seery said the footage and photos captured by the surveillance system at Salem Valley Farms Ice Cream played a big part in the police investigation.

The town has experienced about 10 burglaries over the last year - more than it usually experiences - but Seery said the burglaries were not evidence of a trend.

The snack shack at the town's baseball fields behind its town offices was broken into on three separate occasions. The door there had to be replaced, although Seery said only food and candy were stolen.

Guns, jewelry and silver were also among the items stolen from other residences in town and in Lyme and Old Lyme in burglaries that were part of a recent state police investigation. It revolved around one convicted burglar with local ties who has been charged by police.

Seery dismissed the notion that burglaries were an issue for the town.

"I don't think people in town are under that impression," Seery said. "We always have a very low burglary rate."

Anyone with information on the burglaries at Fox Hopyard Golf Club or Salem Valley Farms Ice Cream is encouraged to contact police at Troop K in Colchester at (860) 537-7500.



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