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Dedicated employees foil lobster truck heist in Charlestown

A crate of lobsters is pictured in Kennebunkport, Maine.Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

Employees of a Charlestown lobster company managed to foil a South Boston man’s attempt to get his claws on a truck full of lobster early Tuesday morning, authorities said.

It all started shortly before 12:38 a.m., when an employee of Buy New England Lobsters LLC left his refrigerated box truck idling at a loading dock while he went to use the bathroom. When he returned a few minutes later, he saw his company truck — which contained $10,000 worth of lobsters — driving away. He quickly notified his co-workers and got into his personal vehicle to give chase, according to a police report filed in the Charlestown division of Boston Municipal Court.


What happened next was like a scene out of an action movie.

When the employee caught up to the stolen truck on Medford Street, he tried to get the suspect to stop and opened the door to the fleeing truck, but the suspect kept driving and dragged him a short distance, the police report said.

The employee returned to his vehicle and managed to get in front of the truck, and the suspect drove the lobster truck into the passenger side of his vehicle. The employee then “grabbed the suspect and dragged him out of the truck, throwing him to the ground,” the police report said.

A manager from Buy New England Lobsters LLC told police that he and another coworker were in another company truck following the stolen truck when the suspect crashed, and they rear-ended the stolen truck, the police report said.

The employees were able to detain the suspect, who was later identified as Stephen D. Woodard, 29, of South Boston, until police arrived at the scene.

Woodard was placed under arrest and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, and while he was there he allegedly made “multiple threats” to a police officer and said, “I’ll blow your brains out ... I see that vest don’t protect your sides and stomach ... make sure you have your [vest] plates in ... what kind of Glock is that 17? 40 cal?”


According to the police report, Woodard also said he “works in Charlestown selling crack” and that he was “going to come by the [police] station with a gun in hand.”

Woodard was charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, operation after revocation or suspension, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and threatening to commit a crime. His bail was set at $500, and the case was continued to Jan. 6, when he will be arraigned on the charges, according to the court clerk’s office.

This was not the first time Woodard has been accused of stealing a truck. According to the court clerk’s office, in June 2010 Woodard allegedly escaped from a Suffolk County sheriff’s van in East Boston, fled on foot, and then stole a Department of Public Works vehicle, officials said. The Globe reported that Woodard led police through Chelsea, Revere, Everett, and Malden before he abandoned the vehicle. Woodard was taken into custody a few days later after Boston police received a tip that led them to an apartment in Charlestown where Woodard had been staying, the Globe reported.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.