John Catsimatidis, who owns the Gristedes chain of grocery stores, tweeted out the reward, saying “ice cream bandits are wreaking havoc on NYC supermarkets” — quoting a headline in the New York Post.
Police confirmed 250 complaints of ice cream theft and 130 arrests so far in 2016. “We are working closely with the retailers to combat the thefts of ice cream,” a spokesman told AFP.
The reward comes with New York in the grip of a heatwave, expected to last through August 14 with heat index values expected to reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius).
Catsimatidis, a self-made tycoon who migrated to New York with his family from Greece as a baby, is valued at $3.4 billion by Forbes.
The 67-year-old philanthropist is also a Republican donor who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of New York in 2013.
Gristedes operates more than 30 stores throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn and the Westchester suburb.