Thieves who made off with a delivery truck full of beer from a Northeast street yesterday apparently were more greedy than thirsty.

After driving the truck from 15th and C streets NE about 1 p.m., the thieves took $672 in cash from the vehicle and then abandoned it, with its doors left open, near North Capitol and L streets.

Neighborhood residents took quick advantage of the unexpected opportunity. Scores of people rushed from their homes to the truck, turning the site into a boozy open-air bazaar littered with broken beer cartons, cans and bottles.

Those who weren't busy carrying off the booty or drinking it, were merrily spraying each other with the free foam.

The big red truck with "Stroh's" emblazoned in gold lettering on its sides was finally reclaimed by police who picked their way carefully through the crowd of revelers and around little rivers of beer.

The story quickly spread that the persons who left the truck were a sort of Robin Hood gang for the thirsty, but it was unclear if the thieves proclaimed the bonanza to the neighborhood or if bystanders spotted the untended truck and acted spontaneously.

No one seemed to care. By the time police arrived, they could find no suspects or complainants -- just a lot of satisfied beer lovers.