Sandwich man pleads not guilty to destroying up to $12K worth of lobsters

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Sandwich man pleads not guilty to destroying up to $12K worth of lobsters

BARNSTABLE — A 70-year-old East Sandwich man accused of destroying up to $12,000 worth of lobsters at a seafood market last week pleaded not guilty Monday in Barnstable District Court.

Sandwich police charged Joseph A. Vaudo with one count of vandalizing property and one count of using another’s commercial dumpster at Superior Lobster & Seafood in Sandwich.

During his arraignment, Judge John M. Julian appointed an attorney for Vaudo and set his bail at $1,000. Julian also ordered that he stay away from staff and the business.

His pretrial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 25.

Vaudo told the Cape Cod Times on the phone Monday that he was not guilty, but he did not say anything else before hanging up.

Vaudo is accused of damaging between $8,000 and $12,000 worth of lobsters Thursday at Superior Lobster & Seafood on 8 Gallo Road, according to the arrest report.

The store’s manager told police that when he arrived at the market at about 6:30 a.m. Friday, he noticed the live seafood tank did not have any oxygen flow or water circulation. He saw that the power boxes located in the back of the building were turned off, according to the arrest report.

The manager turned the boxes back on and checked on about 2,000 pounds of live lobsters stored in the tank, according to the arrest report.

He found the lobsters were “stressed beyond normal” because of the lack of oxygen and water circulation flow. The business owner arrived and transported the lobsters to a processing facility, according to the arrest report.

Sandwich police said the video surveillance footage shows Vaudo appearing at the property at about 9:18 p.m. Thursday. Police describe an older white man on the video wearing jeans, a blue shirt and baseball hat who pulls up to the market in a white GMC Sierra truck. He retrieves trash bags from the back of the truck and throws them into the dumpster located at the market, and then turns off the power boxes, police said.

Vaudo, who currently works at Market Basket, according to the arrest report, was the previous owner of Superior Lobster & Seafood when it was Mr. Vaudo’s Fish Market. Police checked state motor vehicle records and found that Vaudo registered a GMC Sierra truck on June 18. Police also looked through the bags of trash dumped at the dumpster and connected discarded mail to Vaudo, the report said.

Police arrested Vaudo at his house Friday, taking him to the Sandwich Police Station.

Contact Jessica Hill at Follow her on Twitter: @jess_hillyeah.

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