Gang of kids steal theatre’s ice cream

The only thing stolen in the break-in at the Festival Theatre was a tub of ice cream. Picture: ESME ALLEN
The only thing stolen in the break-in at the Festival Theatre was a tub of ice cream. Picture: ESME ALLEN
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They are the sweet-toothed sneak thieves who left theatre bosses with a curious incident to mull over.

Mischievous youngsters – one believed to be just ten years old – staked out an unlikely crime scene before pinching some sweet treats.

The small gang of trouble-makers was spotted loitering outside Edinburgh Festival Theatre before fleeing – with a single tub of ice cream.

The theft pales into insignificance compared to high-profile heists but it was reported to police.

It is believed to have taken place during a performance of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time on Sunday evening, at around 10.30pm.

An onlooker noticed the gang – most of whom were described as being around 16 – at the main door of the ­glass-fronted Nicolson Street venue.

One youngster was within the building, while his mates waited outside.

The witness tried to stop the gang but they ran off with the lad who nicked the ice cream.

It is not yet known whether the youngsters – most of whom are thought to be in their teens – forced entry into the theatre, or whether it was a “sneak” theft.

Councillor Cameron Rose said that although there was “not much” in the incident, the description of the culprits’ ages was concerning.

He added: “I spoke to somebody who saw it happen and contacted the police.

“There were a number of kids messing about with the door, pushing and pulling it, trying to get it open.

“The person I spoke to noticed that there was somebody inside.

“They came out with a tub of ice cream and made off. She tried to confront them.”

In a post on his blog about the Southside-Newington ward he represents, Cllr Rose urged anyone with information about the theft to contact police.

A spokeswoman for the Festival Theatre, which is run by the same team behind the King’s Theatre, confirmed that police had been notified about the incident, but declined to comment further about the circumstances.

The popular Edinburgh Festival Theatre is hosting a 12-day run of the stage adaptation of Mark Haddon’s bestselling novel Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and the evening performance would have concluded shortly after the incident.

A daring confectionery theft on a much larger scale hit the headlines last year when £65,000 worth of chocolates and fudge was stolen from an address in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

And just last month, police revealed that they were hunting a man believed to have stolen £400 worth of chocolate from a petrol station in Coventry.

Anyone with information about Sunday night’s theft should call 101.