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Law Enforcement shieldCONTACT:
Lt. Michael Eastman: 603-868-1095
Lt. Heidi Murphy: 603-271-3127
Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211
November 20, 2013

Lobster Trap Thief Charged

DURHAM, N.H. – A 21-year-old Bedford man faces multiple charges related to possession of stolen lobster gear, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department officials reported today. Kyle Basoukas of Bedford, N.H., was arrested on November 11 following a three-month investigation by N.H. Fish and Game Law Enforcement. 

Kyle Basoukas
Kyle Basoukas of Bedford

Through the investigation and execution of a search warrant, Fish and Game Conservation Officers seized 81 lobster traps, of which 49 were determined to be stolen property. The stolen traps included some that had been the property of the deceased lobsterman who perished in an accident in the Piscataqua River in July.

Basoukas was charged with a Class A Felony of Receiving Stolen Property, Molesting Lobster Gear, and Taking Lobsters without Lobster Trap Tags, as well as 130 other lobster violations, including use of illegal escape panels, no weak links (a required gear adaptation that prevents whale entanglement), and having only one bouy on trawls containing five or more traps. He will be arraigned in Portsmouth District Court on January 13.

A licensed part-time commercial lobsterman, Basoukas was operating between Odiorne State Park in Rye and the area south of Rye Harbor. Fish and Game became aware that he was in possession of stolen lobster gear during routine contacts in August.

The necessity of tracking down the owners of the 49 stolen traps led to a time-consuming investigation, according to Lt. Michael Eastman, who heads up coastal law enforcement for N.H. Fish and Game.

"An enormous amount of time and effort went into this investigation," said Eastman. "This case shows the importance of proper marking of gear through name tags and lobster tags, information that can help Fish and Game protect the resource that represents the livelihood of the lobstermen of New Hampshire."

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