Vintage ice cream cart stolen in Nevada City dumped at Rood Center |

Vintage ice cream cart stolen in Nevada City dumped at Rood Center

Cheri Snook is seen with the ice cream cart that was stolen from behind Miner's Foundry in Nevada City some time between March 10 and March 17.
Courtesy photo

The mysterious theft of her vintage ice cream cart from downtown Nevada City had Cheri Snook angry and amused, in equal measures.

But now that it has been located, in a county maintenance yard, she is mostly relieved.

The circa-1970 cart couldn’t have been easy to steal, Snook said.

“It’s heavy, it’s awkward,” she said. “It takes four people to load it into a truck.”

The cart is used by Snook for her business, Cheri’s Hand-Dipped Ice Cream, and travels between Tahoe and Nevada City, often making appearances at special events and festivals. Snook said the cart originally was a Tahoe Tessie hot dog cart used in Kings Beach, and she adapted it to sell ice cream.

“It’s a piece of history, made in Tahoe,” she said.

Snook had left the distinctive yellow and white cart parked at the Miners Foundry for her crew to use during the Hungry Games fundraiser March 10. That night, it was parked in a tucked-away location, covered and a lock placed on the wheels.

Snook, who was out of town, went to pick it up Sunday and discovered it missing. Snook said when she has the cart in Tahoe, she worries about someone taking it for a drunken joy ride, but she didn’t think that was the scenario here.

“It’s a lot of work to move it,” she said early Monday. “It couldn’t have gone far.”

“Free ice cream to whoever leads me to the cart,” Snook promised, adding. “I have faith it will all turn out.”

Turns out, Snook’s faith — or maybe her fans’ desire for her frozen treats — prevailed.

“Somehow, someone pushed it up the Rood Center,” Snook said late Monday afternoon. “They clearly realized this was the most ridiculous thing to take … and not easy to hide.”

Just getting it from Spring Street up Maidu Avenue must have been quite the undertaking, she said.

“It’s a horrible strain to push it up any hill,” Snook said, adding, “We are in the foothills, not push-a-cart hills.”

Snook credited two separate tipsters, Claire Chappel and Robyn Salisbury, for spotting the cart, saying they will both receive free ice cream for a year.

Contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or

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