A THIEF took "sticky fingered" to a new level when he snatched a pavlova dessert from a kitchen countertop - and fled taking nothing else.
The bewildering burglary happened at a family home on the Avenue Road area of Dundalk, Co Louth.
The sweet-toothed raider broke a glass in the back door to enter the house, between 6pm and 7.30pm last Saturday, when the family were out.
The break-in activated an alarm, which perhaps startled the thief, causing him to take flight with nothing more than the delicious meringue dessert, which was conveniently sitting on the kitchen countertop, awaiting the family's tea.
A garda spokesman confirmed that the pavlova had been stolen and that nothing else was taken in the bizarre theft. "It was lying near the cooker and it must have looked very appetising. The thief must've been feeling very peckish so he decided to take it," he explained.
The garda was unable to confirm whether or not the pavlova had been home-baked.
If it had, it would have been particularly tempting and difficult for the thief to leave behind, with its traditional topping of fruit and fresh cream.
"We've never seen anything like this before," he added.
"It wouldn't be the usual type of burglary we would be called out to.
"We're not quite sure what happened -- maybe he came looking for cash or jewellery and when he didn't find anything, he just took the pavlova as a sort of consolation prize." Unsure as to whether the thief had left sticky fingerprints behind him, the garda did say that the scene had been fully examined and dusted for prints.
And while amusing on the face of it, the garda pointed out that it was no laughing matter for the family, knowing that an intruder had been in their home.
"It's an invasion of your privacy and that pavlova could have been baked for a friend," he said.