PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Police across Kent County are dealing with a chilling series of crimes after several ice cream shops were burglarized over the weekend.

Dairy De-lite, located on West River Drive, is one of at least five, possibly up to eight ice cream shops burglarized. 

Dairy De-lite on West River Drive was broken into early Sunday morning.

The break-ins come after a long 18 months for the business owners.

“Especially food related industries. It’s really a challenging time,” Raechel Macqueen said.

Her Dairy De-lite ice cream shop, which has been in Macqueen’s family more than 25 years, was broken into early Sunday morning.

Surveillance video shows the bandits, in some cases two or three, after they smashed out doors or windows to get inside.

They weren’t looking to satisfy their sweet tooth: It appears they were going for cash.

“The entire cash drawer had been snagged. And our back door had been busted,” Macqueen said.

In most cases, they got away with less than $200.

In the case of the Dairy Queen on West Fulton in Grand Rapids, they stole fake bills used by the shop to train employees on how to spot counterfeits.

Maybe it was brain freeze, or maybe they just aren’t that smart, but the bandits did most of their handiwork right in front of surveillance cameras.

Investigators aren’t sure if it was all the same crew, but it looks that way on video.

“With them happening in a matter if four days all in the same area… I mean, I’m not a detective but I have to assume that it’s connected,” Macqueen said.

After a year of pandemic shuts downs, struggles to get supplies and hire and retain workers to keep the doors open, ice cream shop owners say they just don’t need the extra hassle.

“(Other) ice cream shops that have been broken into have had even more damage that’s not as easy to fix and have had to close down for a full day,” Macqueen said. “And when you’re a seasonal business, one single, sunny day is everything.”

Anyone with information about the break-ins should call the Kent County Sheriff’s Department at 616.632.6100, Grand Rapids Police at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.