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Cold case: Ice cream truck fleet stalled after offseason burglary of tools

Akron Beacon Journal logo Akron Beacon Journal 4/29/2021 Sean McDonnell, Akron Beacon Journal
a man standing in front of a building: Russell Dossie, owner of Triple D Ice Cream talks about having his tools stolen from his shop on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 in Akron, Ohio. [Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal] © PHIL MASTURZO, AKRON BEACON JOURNAL Russell Dossie, owner of Triple D Ice Cream talks about having his tools stolen from his shop on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 in Akron, Ohio. [Phil Masturzo/ Beacon Journal]

After COVID-19 cut the selling season short last year, Triple D Ice Cream was hoping for a hot start to the summer.

Instead, a cold move by some burglars may leave the business without the tools needed to get its ice cream trucks on the road. 

"It's wrong," said Russell Dossie, the company's owner. "They hurt a lot of people." 

Dossie, 69, owns Triple D Ice Cream. The company runs ice cream trucks in Akron, Kent, Cuyahoga Falls and the surrounding area. He keeps his trucks in a shop off Moe Drive in Chapel Hill. 

You can't sell ice cream when it's cold, so the trucks sit dormant for about six months of each year. At some point during the offseason, someone stole about $3,000 dollars worth of tools from the shop. 

Dossie's 39-year-old son, Randy, said he first noticed things were missing in late March. The younger Dossie stopped by to work on things and noticed a tool box was missing. Then he saw one of the doors had been pried open at some point. 

When Russell Dossie came in, he realized not just a tool box was missing. Welders, grinders, power washers and a whole host of things were gone. 

The company has five trucks. Since they're a bit outdated, many of them need mechanical work each year to get ready. He said he keeps the tools around and hires a mechanic to come in and get them running.

As of Wednesday, he's hoping to get at least one of them running for a function at a Kent elementary school this weekend. 

Akron police were called to the shop Tuesday and are investigating the theft. Capt. David Laughlin said the department hasn't found any camera footage of the incident.

According to the police report, the incident could have happened at anytime after Dec. 15. Police are asking anyone with information to call detectives at 330-375-2490 or 330-375-2Tip. 

a man standing in front of a bus: Russell Dossie, left, owner of Triple D Ice Cream, and his son Randy Dossie are hoping someone comes forward with information about tools that were stolen from their business in Akron, hampering their ability to get their ice cream trucks on the road. © PHIL MASTURZO, AKRON BEACON JOURNAL Russell Dossie, left, owner of Triple D Ice Cream, and his son Randy Dossie are hoping someone comes forward with information about tools that were stolen from their business in Akron, hampering their ability to get their ice cream trucks on the road.

The company was already hurting, Russell Dossie said. In 2020, it wasn't able to get trucks on the streets until June. Sales were good, but the company had trouble with drivers getting sick.

By August, he said, the business decided to cut its losses and shut down for the season early. He said he's thankful his landlord has worked with him on paying rent at the shop.

The family got into the ice cream business in 2012, when Russell bought his first truck. He's slowly added trucks since, and at one point even had a walk-in freezer at his home. 

Friends and family are brought on to drive the trucks. With the latest setback, it'll be longer before they can get back to work. 

Thefts aren't uncommon in the industrial park, Russell Dossie said. A shop nearby had all of its tools stolen last year and ended up shutting down. He said a roofing supply company nearby was robbed of bundles of shingles. 

He said oddly enough, only tools were taken from his shop, and his TVs and other items were left.

Randy Dossie said the burglary will cost them much more money than the burglars will be able to sell the tools for. 

"It's hurting more than you're even helping yourself," he said. 

The theft comes at a time when Russell Dossie already is coping with other personal tragedies. His nephew died a few weeks after drowning in a pool. After that, his brother, Barnett, died. When trying to describe how he was feeling, he broke into tears.

"It's just rough," he said, adding that it felt like everything was happening at once.

He said he's always tried to give back to the community. Russell Dossie said the business often gives kids who can't afford it free ice cream or brings trucks to community places like the Haven of Rest. He is involved with the Summit County Hall of Fame Boxing Association and used to run the Boxers Against Drugs gym on South Arlington Street. 

He said he's hoping someone from the community knows something or sees something, and calls Akron police so that he can get the tools he needs back.

Reach reporter Sean McDonnell at 330-996-3186 or smcdonnell@thebeaconjournal.com.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Cold case: Ice cream truck fleet stalled after offseason burglary of tools

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