HomeTop StoriesNeighbors stand up for robbed ice cream truck operator

Neighbors stand up for robbed ice cream truck operator

CHICAGO (CBS) An ice cream truck driver — known for serving dollarcons on the Northwest Side for decades — was robbed at gunpoint this week while on the job.

Now, as Marissa Perlman of CBS 2 reported Wednesday, his community is swarming around him — giving him the confidence to hit the road again.

It’s not summer in Bucktown without the mellow tones of “La Cucaracha” playing nearby.

“When I hear it, I know it,” said a neighbor.

Nor is it summer in Bucktown without Wilfredo Cintron – the man who drives the ice cream truck as he plays that famous tune. At age 82, Cintron and his San Juan ice cream truck have been distributing soft serve ice cream on the city’s Northwest Side for decades.

“You can have it all,” one woman said.

Not only that, but he also remembers your order – the taste, whether you like a sugar cone.

Cintron and his son Jay were hard at work Wednesday night as usual. But they also got a little extra love from what happened the night before.

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Cintron was emotional after his neighbors showed up to support him. He and his son were robbed at gunpoint on Tuesday, on the first stop of the night.

Three suspects jumped into Cintron and his son’s ice cream truck, taking whatever money they had with them before they left.

“I felt hopeless, because I saw that they had a gun to his head – and I feared for his life,” said Jay Cintron.

A night later, the Cintrons were back with familiar faces — and bottomless ice cream. It was free—thanks to Robert Magiet, who bought the truck for the night outside his restaurant, The Stop Along at 1812 N. Milwaukee Ave., to help Cintron recover what was captured.

“Just give him a boost, that was what was really important to me,” said Magiet, “like, just so he knows the community is behind him.”

The father and son are just thankful they weren’t hurt.

Now Jay Cintron says his father “feels the love for them. He knows that people live by him.”

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Tuesday was the first time the Cintrons were in danger on the job.

“My dad has been driving this truck with these doors open for 49 years, and today his doors should be closed,” said Jay Cintron.

The doors are now closed for safety. But the ice window is always open for friends.

“He says he will always be here until the day he dies,” said Jay Cintron, interpreting his father’s words into Spanish.

Police said late Wednesday there were no suspects in custody in the robbery, but they are investigating.

In all, the Cintron family had about $300 in cash taken from them. They still sell soft serve ice cream for $1.50.

If you want to get the truck from the Cintrons themselves, they’re in Bucktown, Wicker Park, West Town, and Humboldt Park every night — unless it rains. Just listen to ‘La Cucaracha’.

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