Not quite a cold case - since it happened nearly three months ago - but police have made an arrest in the brazen dinnertime removal of two ice machines from Honey's on South.

On Dec. 21, said co-owner Jeb Woody, two men entered the restaurant at 21st and South Streets and - in a somewhat Grinchian holiday-season twist - told staff they were there to replace the machines for cleaning.

As caught on the restaurant's video, they lugged out the machines, each about six feet tall and weighing about 350 pounds - one from the kitchen and one from the basement, said Woody, who was not at Honey's at the time.

The men drove off in a truck just as two detectives walked in for dinner, blithely unaware. (Only in the movies could the cops have sized up the situation and yelled, "Freeze!")

A March 15 preliminary hearing is scheduled for Edward Kacee, 44, of Croydon, a onetime employee of an ice-machine company who has also used the last names Peraria and Perara in previous dealings with the justice system.

Kacee's attorney, Raymond Driscoll, denied that a crime had occurred, describing the situation as "no more than a civil dispute between two business owners."

Woody said Kacee's company had serviced and leased an unrelated ice machine at Shifty's Taco, a Brewerytown restaurant that Woody had an ownership interest in. He said that awhile after he left the company, the restaurant closed and there was a dispute over the whereabouts of that ice machine.

Kacee faces charges including conspiracy, theft, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, and impersonating a privately employed person. He was being held at Graterford Prison.

The identity of the second man seen in a surveillance video was not known.

Woody said he bought one new machine - a $4,200 tab plus installation. He said he would buy a second one just before the warm weather begins.