Four Canadian men were charged yesterday for the theft of more than $1 million worth of lobster last year, the Canadian Press reports. All four face charges of theft over $5,000 for both the stolen lobster as well as the transport truck they allegedly stole to move it. According to investigators, the truck was stolen from Eco-Technologies Ltd. in Caraquet, New Brunswick. From there, they say, the thieves drove the 19 miles to the nearby village of Grand-Anse where they used the truck to burgle a million dollars in crustaceans from LeBreton and Sons Fisheries Ltd.
The theft took place on July 1 -- Canada Day -- making it an especially unpatriotic entry in a string of lobster thefts, as well as the most lucrative. Port Mouton, Nova Scotia, about 7 hours away from Caraquet, also saw two major lobster thefts in the same week this past February. At the going rate of $9.75 a pound, that's almost $90,000 in lost revenue for the three local fisherman who were victims of that attack. They think it's an organized lobster-snatching crime ring.
"I think they got them sold before they steal them," Donaldson Fisher (yep, that's his name) told the Queens County Advance. "I don’t know if it’s a buyer buying them or what, but that’s a lot of lobster for one person to get rid of, just going door to door. Some person would say something I think."
Thousands of pounds of lobster don't just get up and walk away at the rate these thousands of pounds of lobster seem to be getting up and walking away. For a little American context as to what can happen to a local community in the face of a massive lobster theft, check out this great 2005 Washington Post story by none other than its star reporter David Fahrenthold. (For those keeping score, this is the same Fahrenthold who will go down in history for later reporting on the Access Hollywood tape in which future President of the United States Donald Trump was heard saying, "You have to grab [women] by the pussy.")
"[The Maine lobster] haul was 3,000 pounds, worth about $13,500 wholesale, which made it one of the largest lobster-rustling operations in Maine's recent history," Fahrenthold at the time. The story continues:
Lobster thievery is serious business here, in a little town whose 5,200 people are spread over one peninsula and three islands in Casco Bay. Harpswell is now becoming a haven for retirees seeking the L.L. Bean life, but the town's economy and culture still revolve around its roughly 400 licensed lobstermen.
"The worst thing you could do in the Wild West was steal somebody's horse," said Gordon Weil, one of Harpswell's town selectmen. "That's about how it is here with stealing lobsters."
That was more than 12 years ago for about $13,500 worth of lobster. Hopefully the Canadian fishermen who were more recently robbed blind for $1 million get their own justice.
H/T: Canadian Press