HANFORD — It takes more than a determined thief and a truck slamming into the building to close a local landmark.
Superior Dairy opened as usual on Monday, even though a masked man in a stolen pickup rammed the ice cream shop earlier that morning.
Police believe the suspect, who has not been identified, wanted to break into the owners’ safe. He got spooked when officers heard the noise around 3:41 a.m. and came running.
“They were trying to get the safe,” co-owner Susan Wing said. “They didn’t get anything. We were lucky.”
When staff got to work hours later, they found a gaping hole where the pickup order area had once been. Wing said they covered it with plywood, swept up the broken glass and opened for business as usual.
“We just need the window replaced,” she said. “It did some damage to the building. It did not affect our operational hours or anything.”
Wing didn’t know on Tuesday how long it would take to repair, but she hopes it will be finished in a few days. Meanwhile, orders will continue without interruption.
Police say they are still looking for the man responsible. An officer saw the suspect wearing a mask, a white shirt and blue jeans. He drove a white pickup truck next to the Hanford Branch Library, lined the vehicle up with Superior Dairy’s north side and shifted into reverse.
The crash broke the early morning calm and sent officers racing to the business. Seeing them, the suspect climbed back behind the wheel and roared off along Ninth Street.
He managed to give officers the slip, but was spotted later plowing through a chain-link fence on the south side of Fourth and Brown streets.
Officers found the truck idling and abandoned in a dirt lot near Highway 198, the suspect long gone.
Further investigation revealed that the truck had been stolen from Kit Carson School. The vehicle suffered moderate damage, but was returned to the school.
Nothing was reported stolen from Superior Dairy.
Tim Jones, also a co-owner of Superior Dairy, declined to comment on the investigation. He referred all questions to the police.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call the Hanford Police Department at 585-2540 or the Kings County Sheriff’s Office at 852-2790.
Reporter Seth Nidever contributed to this story. The reporter can be reached at 583-2425 or by email at jjohnson@HanfordSentinel.com.