Homer Simpson would have been horrified at a discovery made by Redding police in the pre-dawn hours Thursday.
It was still dark when officers came upon a delivery van that had been stolen from a bakery and was parked in a lot near a train station. They readied their flashlights and swung open the vehicle’s back doors when the situation took a bittersweet turn. Inside were mounds of glorious confections, but most had been strewn on the floor.
Dozens of doughnuts — some covered in sticky glaze and others dipped in chocolate — had slid off their trays alongside their fallen carbohydrate brothers: croissants, pan dulce, conchas and muffins.
The officers were pretty broken up about it.
One put his hand to his head and bent over in mock horror after opening the van’s sliding door and pastries tumbled onto the pavement.
“The Officers were heartbroken that all these donuts had to be thrown away,” the Redding Police Department wrote in a Facebook post, poking fun at stereotypes about doughnut-loving cops.
Officers searched the area but couldn’t find the person involved in what the department described as a “tragic incident.”
The van belongs to the Little Maya Bakery, with shops nearly 200 miles south of Redding in Vallejo and Sonoma, according to bakery owner Pablo Santos.
Santos said he was out delivering pastries Wednesday morning when he parked the van with the keys inside before running in to a storefront. He was gone only a few minutes, but when he returned, the van and all of the sweet treats inside were gone.
He hadn’t learned the van had been found until a reporter called him early Thursday. He said he was surprised authorities located the vehicle hundreds of miles away but was eager to get it back.
“Wow,” he shouted. “They found it!”