Grandmother alleges a not-so-sweet ice cream vendor is stealing money from kids

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) Some Alaskans say they've been duped by a local ice cream business.

For three children living in midtown Anchorage, a pit stop at the ice cream van rolling through the neighborhood Wednesday, ended on a sour note.

"I gave him $5.00 and it was supposed to be $4.25," Olivia Starnes said.

Starnes said she went to buy a soda and a few snacks for her friend Braylen, who recently returned from a trip to Texas.

Starnes said she never got her change back from the driver and operator of the ice cream van.

"He shut off his music when he saw me coming back and slammed on the gas," Starnes said.

Olivia's grandmother, Cynthia says she was shocked when the kids told her what the driver did; the kids saying it wasn't the first time they have had run-ins with the ice cream vendor. Starnes alleges the driver does give his two cents when it comes to colorful language.

"When they start questioning him about the money or about giving them a lesser item then he starts cursing at them and making inappropriate comments about their moms. It's so wrong on so many levels," Cynthia Starns said.

KTUU set out to determine if the allegations against a not-so-sweet ice cream truck driver were true. A search of business license records in the company's name and witness reports about the location where the trucks were parked led Channel 2 to midtown, where two vans matching the witness reports were located. The company's name was displayed on the back window of several parked vehicles in the lot.

Channel 2 News spoke with a man at that location who identified himself as an ice cream business owner, but he did not wish to speak on camera.

The business owner did say he has two drivers, and he's never had any complaints about his crew. When confronted with the specific allegations, he replied, "That's not good," and went on to say, "kids making stories probably...It's not true. If I know my drivers doing that, I'd fire them right away,"

The owner's reputation with the municipality shows no sign of previous complaints, according to both the municipality of Anchorage and the Anchorage Police Department.

Cynthia Starnes says she wants a chance to confront the ice cream van driver as an adult. Her message is short and sweet, stay out of her neighborhood or she plans to call 9-1-1.

APD says any crimes can be reported to the department and consumers can also contact municipal code enforcement if they believe they have been wronged by a licensed vendor.

If a company is registered with the Better Business Bureau, a complaint can also be turned into that consumer protection organization.

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