Police in Nanaimo are looking for a scoop that will lead them to solving a unique cold case after someone stole hundreds of dollars worth of gelato.

Officials say the crooks smashed the lock on a steel shipping container outside Waterfront Confections on Front Street on Mar. 4 and took off with 10 large pails of the frozen dessert, worth about $700.

“It’s gelato ice cream, which is an Italian version. It’s like the Ferrari of ice cream,” said Nanaimo RCMP Cpl. Jon Stuart.

The owners of the shop say the soft-serve thieves got away with seven flavours of the handmade treats, including hazelnut, butter pecan, cookie dough and key lime pie – enough to make about 150 ice cream cones.

“It’s very cold right now, the weather,” said Helen Zhang. “I really have no clue what he’s going to do with so much ice cream.”

Officers will comb through surveillance video to see if they can find the person responsible for the chilling crime before the evidence melts away.

“You have to think of all the tourists and the children that aren’t going to have ice cream because it got taken away from them so we’re quite upset about that,” Stuart said.

The popular tourist destination is open seven days a week and the owners say they haven’t closed because of the break-and-enter, but they have purchased new security cameras.

Mounties say once the cold-hearted criminals are caught, they could face a sweet sentence.

“This is someone’s livelihood as well, you’re taking away from them, their profits, their ability to do business and you’re also depriving members of the public,” Stuart said.

With files from CTV Vancouver Island's Jessica Lepp