Update: The stolen Rockin Rico's Sno Balls trailer has been found in the backyard of a west Wichita home.
The trailer was located because of a tip from an anonymous man. The man contacted Rockin Rico's owner Dylan Penka, told him he saw the trailer in a backyard on the west side of town, and took Penka to the location.
After confirming it was his trailer, Penka contacted the police.
"Now we're trying to figure out who stole it and put it there," Penka said.
Penka said he doesn't think the homeowner whose backyard the trailer was found in was involved in the theft. Whoever stole the trailer drove it through an alleyway between two houses, pulled it over the curb and parked it in the grass, Penka said. The backyard of the home is only half-fenced.
The exact address where the trailer was found was not disclosed, and Wichita police could not be reached for comment Saturday.
The trailer is now back in Penka's possession, and Rockin Rico's will hopefully reopen within a couple days after it gets fixed up, Penka said. The trailer's electrical cord was broken, and syrup is spilled all over inside. There was no money in the trailer.
Now that his trailer is back, it's "business as usual," Penka said.
"We just want to make sno-balls."
Local sno-ball business Rockin Rico’s Gourmet Sno Balls had its trailer stolen overnight.
The trailer — which usually sits at Kellogg and Rock in the Mattress Firm parking lot — was stolen sometime between 10:30 last night and 11 a.m. this morning, owner Connor Penka said.
Penka said he was on his way to fill inventory this morning when he saw the trailer was gone. He immediately went back home to drop off his ice and other inventory items, then came back up to the location and called the Wichita Police Department.
After contacting the police, Penka posted the theft on Rockin Rico’s social media pages. A couple customers reported seeing the trailer this morning on the south side of Wichita, near the Oaklawn area, Penka said.
WPD said their detectives would not be available for comment until Monday.
Penka said he wasn't sure why someone would want to steal the trailer.
"I think somebody probably needed money and saw an opportunity and took advantage of it," Penka said. "It happens. I'm more concerned about what I can do going forward."
Rockin Rico’s originated in Derby, then moved to Wichita. The goal for this year was to open another Derby location. Penka said a new location in Derby now depends on whether or not they get their trailer back.
“Obviously it’s going to change our bottom line,” Penka said. “No matter what, though, we’ll still be making sno-balls this summer.”
This story will be updated as information becomes available.