American Couple Calls Cops After Paying $50 for Roman Gelato

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An American couple were outraged after being charged €42 for three ice creams and a bottle of water at a bar in central Rome, asking the police to intervene, but the manager told The Local it was “their fault” for not reading the menu.

James and Mariann Luciani had just finished dinner when they and a relative stopped for an ice cream at Bar il Caffè, just a stone’s throw from the Trevi Fountain. Having paid around €3 or €4 for an ice cream so far on their Italian holiday, they were shocked when the bill came to €42 ($50).

The Lucianis contested the charge, only to be shown a menu — having not checked before ordering—in which the price for an ice cream was set at €13 apiece. The waiter told them that they had, in fact, been given a discount as they were relieved of the €2.50 per person cover charge.

“We’d just paid €59 for our entire dinner, including a litre of wine, and then were charged €42 for gelato!” James told The Local. “We’ve been careful in watching out for pickpockets in Rome, but I never thought I would get scammed here,” he said. The couple paid the bill but, unsure whether such a high charge was legal, they returned to the bar on Thursday morning with the police.

Mediating between the waiter and the Lucianis, a police officer checked the menu and found that the price was written down. As the menu was available, the bar was not breaking Italian law. “I should have checked the menu,” James told The Local, adding that he and his wife had previously been guests of Italian relatives and so had not encountered such problems.

When approached by The Local, the waiter said that he only worked at the bar and did not decide the menu prices. When the manager arrived at Bar il Caffè later on Thursday, he told The Local that he was an “honest” person and the problem was the customers’ fault. “It’s their fault…I advise foreigners to read the menu,” he said, declining to give his name and pointing to menus on a number of outdoor tables.

“Italy isn’t like other countries. Here there’s always a different price at the bar and sat at a table,” the manager added, pointing to a sign above the ice cream stand which in English states the cheaper “take-away” prices. “An ice cream in this cup is big,” the manager said, holding up a glass bowl which carries the €13 price tag. “You could have it for lunch!”

But the Lucianis are not the first visitors to complain that the place is a tourist trap. The bar’s TripAdvisor page gets a resounding “terrible” rating from 25 of its 28 reviews. A British tourist who visited earlier this month described the bar as a “complete rip off” to “avoid at all costs” after she was charged €29 for two drinks.

New Jersey Police Looking for ‘Devil’ Dairy Queen Robber

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NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) – Did the devil make him do it? The New Jersey State Police are looking the public’s help with identifying a person who robbed a Montague Twp. Dairy Queen wearing a horned devil mask.

Police say it happened about 10:30 p.m. on July 11. Police say the masked man was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, black baggy sweatpants, and grey cloth gloves with rubber palm.

He walked into the Dairy Queen with a handgun and demanded money. Prior to running away, he hit an employee in the forearm.

It is believed that this suspect committed a similar armed robbery on the same day at the Days Inn in Deer Park, N.Y. Anyone with information is asked to contact the NJ State Police at (973) 383-1514.

Tillamook Cheese Vans Melt Into Thin Air In California

tillamook-cheese-busesMANTECA (CBS13) – Police say that the whole Tillamook Cheese Tour truck caravan was stolen from the parking lot of a Manteca hotel Saturday morning.

The trailer was parked at the Hampton Inn along Bass Pro Drive in Manteca, Manteca Police say. At some point between 12:30 and 6:30 a.m., police say, thieves took off with the whole caravan of vehicles – which not only includes a pickup truck and a trailer, but three classic Volkswagen Mini Buses.

The VW Mini Buses were in the trailer, which was attached to a Ford F-350, when the theft happened, police say. Police say that the VW Mini Buses alone are worth about $100,000 each. The buses are used as a part of Tillamook’s promotional tour, each one highlighting the company’s different cheese, yogurt and ice cream products.

It shouldn’t be too hard to spot the vehicles, as all of them are custom-painted orange with the “Tillamook” logo emblazoned on the sides. Anyone who knows where the vehicles might be is asked to call the Manteca Police Department at (209) 456-8101. The following is the vehicle’s description, along with their license plate numbers:

♦ 2008 Ford F350, Oregon License plate number Y116821
♦ Wells Cargo Trailer, Oregon License plate number TF1144
♦ 1964 VW Mini Bus, Oregon License plate number YUM4
♦ 1966 VW Mini Bus, Oregon License plate number YUM5
♦ 1959 VW Mini Bus, Oregon License plate number YUM6

 

Ice Cream With a Bitter Taste: This Cone Man is a Con Man

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mister-softee_Logo Master_Softee_Logo Mister_Softee_Vs_Master_SofteeWanted: A grinning, bow-tied, cone man who’s been seen on the streets peddling his copycat sweets.

A federal court judge banned Master Softee from operating its rogue fleet of ice cream trucks that blatantly rip off the Mister Softee brand — but so far, the Master’s rapscallion cast of dessert vendors refuses to budge.

The June 5 ruling was a score for Mister Softee. The summertime treat powerhouse had sued its former franchisee, Dimitrios Tsirkos, who runs his buggies in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx out of a depot in Long Island City.

The 53-year-old Woodside businessman painted his vehicles in a familiar-looking red, white and blue color scheme and included a grinning, cone-headed mascot — making the truck difficult to differentiate from a Mister Softee four-wheeler.

“It is obvious that (Tsirkos) adopted his truck designs with the object of achieving an appearance similar to plaintiff’s Mister Softee trucks,” Judge Laura Taylor Swain wrote in court papers. “The trucks are designed to appeal to children, who are relatively unsophisticated consumers.”

Swain barred Tsirkos from using the name Master Softee or any other confusing names or marks, and prohibited Tsirkos from involvement in any facet of theretail ice cream industry within 5 miles of his former Mister Softee franchise territories until February 2016.

Still, the Daily News spotted Master Softee trucks over the weekend on Sixth Ave., in Greenwich Village, and along Broadway in Astoria. Mister Softee co-owner Jim Conway said that a private eye retained by his company counted 10 of the trucks on Saturday and Sunday in Manhattan.

“These guys are bad guys on all levels,” said Conway, whose family founded the New Jersey-based chain in 1956. “We don’t have an alternative but to work through the court system. Conway and his lawyer, Jeff Zucker, have spent more than a decade suing knockoff Mister Softee ice cream trucks. They say they have never lost a case.

Tsirkos’ attorney, Nicholas Damadeo, wouldn’t explain why the illegal sugar-loving crew appeared to be ignoring the court’s order. “The case is still proceeding,” Damadeo said, adding the ban is not permanent and Tsirkos can file an appeal. “That’s one of the avenues that is available.”

Meanwhile, Mister Softee investigators plan to submit photographs of Master Softee trucks in action, hoping that Swain will come down on Tsirkos. “They are violating the judge’s orders,” Conway said.

 

Woman Calls Police Because There Aren’t Enough Sprinkles on Her Ice Cream

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Police have released a recording of a woman who dialled 999 to request help in a row over the number of sprinkles on an ice cream. The caller, who was not named by West Midlands Police, contacted emergency operators yesterday while arguing with the owner of an ice cream van.

During a minute-long call, the indignant woman told the operator: ”It doesn’t seem like much of an emergency but it is a little bit because I’ve ordered an ice cream and he’s put bits on one side and none of the other. He’s refusing to give me my money back and saying that I’ve got to take it like that.”

Urging the public not to misuse the 999 system, Chief Superintendent Jim Andronov said: ”If someone is trying to get through to report a genuine life or death emergency, then a minute is a very long time to wait. I cannot stress enough that the 999 number is for emergencies only.”

 

Man Buying $3 Ice Cream Treat Gets Meth With His Change

kelly_brown_2BRENTWOOD — A man buying a $3 chocolate treat from an ice cream truck got an extra something with his change — a baggie of methamphetamine.

It could have been an innocent mistake, according to police, but the ice cream man was arrested and prosecutors will ultimately decide if he should be charged.

The 30-year-old Brentwood man told police he took a break from working on his pickup truck at about 3 p.m. Wednesday on the 200 block of Mountain View Drive to cool off with some ice cream. When he handed the suspect $20, a dime-bag size of meth was tucked in his $17 in change.

After the man said he didn’t want the drug, the suspect replied he didn’t know how the baggie ended up in his truck and asked the man to throw it away, according to police. The man kept the bag and called police.

Five minutes later, officers found 62-year-old Kelly Brown of Oakley and his truck at a gas station at John Muir Parkway and Balfour Road. Brown repeated to officers that he does not sell drugs, and theorized the bag of meth could have come from a customer earlier in the day. Brown was arrested on suspicion of possession and transportation of methamphetamine, both felonies.

He was booked at Martinez Detention Facility. The case will be sent to the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office for review. Lt. Doug Silva of Brentwood police called it an isolated case and said they have no reports of similar incidents involving Brown.

“It’s very possible he could have accepted this from someone else,” Silva said. There were no children involved in the incident, police said.

NOTE: Thanks and a tip of the hat to Lisa Fenger!

Armed Suspect Arrested After Botched Ice Cream Robbery

vanilla ice cream cardboard tub with plastic SpoonAn armed man was arrested after attempting to steal ice cream from a Richmond market and pointing his gun at the employees who confronted him, a police spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The attempted robbery happened around 6 p.m. Monday at the Bayview Meat and Fish store at 1025 S. 47th St., according to Richmond police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov.

When two workers saw the suspect trying to steal ice cream and stopped him, the man pulled out a gun and pointed it at them, she said.

Abetkov said it appears the suspect pulled back the gun’s slide to place a bullet in the weapon’s chamber but did not fire it. He then ran from the store, but officers caught him a short time later.

The suspect, a 28-year-old Richmond man, was arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery and brandishing a weapon and was taken to county jail in Martinez. No injuries were reported during the attempted robbery.