Maine Officials Seek Leads in Lobster Theft Case

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Maine Operation Game Thief is offering a reward of $11,000 for information that helps authorities bring the person or people responsible for a major lobster theft and trap-damage case near Jeffrey’s Ledge to justice.

A Maine Marine Patrol investigation, which began February 22, 2016, revealed that approximately 200 lobster traps had been hauled by someone other than the license holders, the lobsters stolen, and the traps lowered to the bottom. Some of the traps could not be recovered.

Jeffrey’s Ledge is located in the western Gulf of Maine located approximately 30 miles off the New Hampshire coast.

Maine Operation Game Thief (Maine OGT) is a private, non-profit organization that works with the Department of Marine Resources, Maine Marine Patrol, Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Maine Warden Service, and Wildlife Crime Stoppers to pay rewards to citizens who provide information that helps bring violators of Maine’s game and commercial fishing laws to justice.

“The OGT program is committed to helping maintain our state’s valuable game and commercial fishing resources,” said OGT Chair Greg Sirpis. “Maine’s lobster industry works hard to protect and sustain this important resource and to have people undermine our state’s proud heritage of hard work and conservation is unacceptable and we will support efforts to bring whoever did this to justice.”

“This is an extremely serious violation involving multiple victims, and we would appreciate any help from the public,” said Marine Patrol Colonel Jon Cornish.  “The money for this reward comes both from the Operation Game Thief program and from lobstermen committed to bringing this person or people to justice. I’m grateful for the support of OGT and these lobstermen and their dedication to supporting the work of the Maine Marine Patrol.”

Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to contact Marine Patrol Sergeant Rob Beal by phone at (207) 479-3931 or to call the Operation Game Thief hotline at (800)ALERT-US (800-253-7887).