Oyster Thief Indicted – Still Not The Biggest Douche In This Story


CapeCodOnline.com — A West Yarmouth man has been indicted in the theft of more than $40,000 worth of oysters and equipment from beds off Dennis and Barnstable last summer.

And a well-known Sandwich fish market owner pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of receiving stolen property in connection with the case.

Michael Bryant, 37, was indicted by a Barnstable County grand jury Friday on six counts of larceny of property, a shellfish sales violation, shellfishing a contaminated area and a commercial fishing license violation. Bryant will be arraigned “in the upcoming days” in Barnstable Superior Court, according to a statement from Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe.

“He’s certainly been arrested many times,” Barnstable police Lt. Sean Balcom said of Bryant.

When Balcom said in January that the case was close to being solved, he noted that “where (the suspect) sold the oysters is going to come as a pretty big surprise.”

Joseph Vaudo, a 62-year-old Sandwich businessman who has owned Joe’s Lobster Mart for more than 35 years, pleaded guilty Friday in Barnstable District Court to charges of receiving stolen property, willfully misleading police during an investigation and failure or refusal to file required statistical reports of wholesale and retail dealers.

Vaudo was ordered to pay $6,250 in fines and court costs.

Balcom, head of the department’s detective unit, said Vaudo was uncooperative when questioned by police. “He denied having bought anything (from Bryant), he denied knowing Bryant, and he denied Bryant came out of his business despite the fact we saw otherwise from the surveillance,” Balcom said.

Balcom added the market owner’s problems may be far more severe than the fine he was charged by the court. Vaudo is both a retailer and wholesaler. “He could face significant problems with his permits to buy shellfish and operate his business.”

We posted about this story a while back so I figured we should probably do a follow up now that the alleged masterminds have been exposed. When the story first broke we talked about how stealing shellfish equipment and oysters on Cape Cod should result in a scarlet letter. It takes a special kind of douchebag to steal a blue collar working man’s tools. Stealing his oysters sucks for sure, but stealing his ability to continue to make a living is fucking deplorable.

That said, the oyster thief is not the biggest douche in this story. That crown goes to Joseph Vaudo. Listen, there will always be shit bags stealing from people. No doubt it’s a shitty thing to do, but this Bryant guy is just a low life who is doing what low life’s do. Vaudo on the other hand fucked over the very community that supports his business. Honest hard working people are working their ass off to provide him with the shellfish that he sells to other honest hard working people under the pretense that he is buying them from the honest hard working people in their community. Joe’s Lobster Mart buying stolen shellfish at a discount and selling them at regular prices is offensive on many, many levels.

Unfortunately Joe’s Lobster Mart will probably survive because of the money he makes from tourists who will never know and probably don’t care about this story. Even though this may be the case, there is no excuse for any year round resident to ever do business with this man again. We are calling for a full on boycott of Joe’s. Please share this, spread the word about this guy and BOYCOTT JOE’S LOBSTER MART! Let’s show Cape Cod business people they can’t fuck over the communities they do business in without repercussions.

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Comments 44

  1. Well after all back in the day he was busted for cocaine dealing out of same building and that doesn’t stop people from buying from him. Once a dirty crook always a dirty crook

  2. I ve bought from joe for yrs ive seen him in the store always a nice guy , ive bought lobster bait from him and i know a few folks that work there and have worked there! but i will never step foot in there again the thought that this asshole knowingly took these contaminated oysters and sold them he is a scumbag in the lowest form he has a 6000 fine that is less than what he made on the stolen goods ! throw his ass in jail and shut him down!

  3. ok, obviously local residents will stop shopping there once they hear or read about this story. while I agree for the most part with your opinion, why use profanity ? it doesn’t get your point across any better, it actually makes you sound like an uneducated chump. we’re not all meatheads and morons here. wtf.

    just sayin…

    1. Was just reading about an unsavory character that did the same thing here in Ireland. I am really saddened that there are locals robbing and cheating other locals like this on my home peninsula. Glad this article is out there exposing them, but I have to agree that the profanity doesn’t represent us well. Let’s not sink to the level of this slimy, cheating, pathetic retailer and his lowlife suplier!

  4. I certainl won’t support Joe’s Market. Question is how many years has he been doing this and getting away with it. How much contaminated shellfish did he sell, people consume, get deathly sick? Not an honorable man. Michael Bryant has no conscience. My last comment regards the crass inappropriate language used by the writer of this story. Using very foul language is just as ‘ low life ‘ as you named Michael Bryant. You lost all credibility with your choice of words. You have to give respect to all readers. I woudnt show this commentary to anyone. I would be to embarassed for them to read it.

    1. You shouldn’t have read the article if you are easily offended. Wasn’t the title a bit of a clue that the content was NSFW? How the author expresses himself is his own right. Don’t share the story, that’s your prerogative – but don’t complain about the content when it was clearly written on the tin.

  5. This oyster thief, who is behind bars mind you, sold to many reaturants as well. Where is the outrage with them?

  6. I used to work there when I was a kid. Joe would bring in catch and release traps for raccoons he would find in his yard, and then have workers toss them into the large water tanks that funnel into the crab tanks to drown them alive and then toss them into the canal.

    1. That is so gross that he had raccoons be put in the fresh water tanks that funnel into the crab tanks! Disgusting man on all counts. Among the fact that he sold contaminated oysters and more to us! I will NEVER go into his place ever again. There should be Cape Cod public outrage at him!!! Memorial Day picketing in front of his business sounds right to me, at the very least!

  7. Your story would have been just as effective without all the foul language. It was offensive and unnecessary.

    1. Offensive and unnecessary is your opinion certain people express themselves differently acceptable in some arenas yet not in others. I think your in the wrong arena kathy. Like Seth said…”The headline alone should have made you stop reading right there” unless you thought it was some fancy french word you hadn’t heard of yet. lol..
      “Dousahy !!is that like tooshay ” ?

      The fact you comment on the way the story was written and not the content of the story leaves me to believe that you wanted to be offended it behooves me Why is it Kathy you are offended by a few colorful metaphors and not by what the story is telling

  8. the fine is joke. Taking his licenses should get rid of him
    And shame on the restaurants that bought stolen shellfish.
    hope they find them.
    Greed should not pay

  9. People can certainly picket to let out-of-towners know about this despicable situation! Interesting fact for ya: the parking lot for Joe’s abuts is Federal property. In fact, that actual land the building occupies is Federal property. So, as long as nobody is standing right at the entrance to the retail store, scumbag can’t do anything about it!

  10. You all need to find something better to do with your time than picketing a fish market. Mind your own business

  11. hopefully soon with a big nor’easter when your houses fall into the ocean and I can pick the beach of all your valuables. Suckers… you’re worried about oysters?

  12. Im in the fishing industry and am often down in sandwich working with fishermen RIGHT next to Joe’s. I also buy oysters amongst other fish and shellfish and over the years have come to learn- through the fishermen themselves- that Joe is a complete douche and I would be nothing short of ecstatic if he lost the business. He is a scumbag that literally zero people in the industry respect. All he is good for is cheating people by paying cash for black market deals like this at a discounted rate and screws up the whole system the government put in place that people like me have to abide by everyday. I hate this story it makes me sick.

  13. I’ve given this guy enough of my hard-earned money….he charges top dollar for his fish…now we find out he was buying stolen fish and selling it at a premium? What a POS. Won’t be shopping their anymore.

    1. Sounds like he will make a top notch politician though, doesn’t it?

      I always shop at East wind lobster , they use the local little guys “fishermen”

  14. Fuck this fucking douchebag. That motherfucker should lose his fucking license and business. What a piece of shit fuckwad. Guy deserves to be in fucking jail because he is a complete douchebag. Too much profanity folks? Who gives a shit – this guy STOLE form folks who have a hard enough time making it in the fishing industry. FUCK THIS GUY. And to the people saying the restaurants should also be punished – how on earth would the restaurants be privy to this fucking information? FUCK THIS FUCKING DOUCHEBAG.

  15. Too bad. I shopped there for special occasions and fresh products. Looks like I’ll support a different local fish dealer henceforth. I hate thieves!

  16. This boycott is long over due! Joe Vaudo is the WORST person to work for let alone do business with! He does not only steal from local business men, but he steals from his employees. He stole my personal phone and after denying it I had to have the police personally track him down and get it. GPS on my phone led the police right to his driveway. JOE VAUDO IS A THIEF!!!!!!!!!!!! Boycott the hell out of his business!

    1. Dear former loyal employee…..if you weren’t on your phone all day instead of working you wouldn’t have to be looking for your phone. The GPS on your phone wasn’t what led the police to Joe. The phone was at the work place. There is more to this story than you are saying. ALOT MORE!!!!! Joe Vaudo is not a thief and everyone of you should be a shame of yourselves for even thinking so. NOT ONE OF YOU KNOW THE WHOLE STORY THAT IS BEHIND THIS. So before you all go off on Joe Vaudo, the victim here, you should get all your facts together. How about the cop who lied on the stand, how about the same cop who watched the guy steal the oysters and let him go. So much more to this than meets the eye!!!! Get your facts together before you open your mouth!!!!

      1. Saddens me to hear how, and worries me of how, ill informed blind and stupid we locals have gotten. Joe’s Lobster Mart is a jewel to the region, and jewels like Joe’s are fading. I will continue to shop there till the cow’s come home! Back in the 80’s the Federal government forced many hardworking, honest fishermen to fill their boats and risk their freedom to feed their families running marijuana. Many people paid the price, boat owners, dock merchants, policemen and truck drivers. All have regrets, but that was a long time ago. All that is happening now is just an extension of the federal government trying to take from us what is ours. Someday we will all be buying frozen fish from US Foods or half rotten fish from Stop and Shop. We will all miss Joe’s Lobster Mart when men like Joe Vaudo and the hard working fishermen of Cape Cod are gone. The Federal government won’t stop till it is done. And the corporate bastards got us by the balls. Sincerely, your hardworking, blue collar, local fisherman who is sick of being bled by the bastards in Washington.

      2. Here ya go…some more details…for anyone who wants to get their facts together.


        A few highlights for those too lazy to click the link:

        Loyal Employee says Joe Vaudo is not a thief and yet…
        “He was fined $250 for receiving property in a false trade and $1,000 for the fishery report violation. The shellfish dealer also was fined $5,000 for his admission of facts to misleading a police investigation. On that admission, he also was assessed a $90 fee for the victim/witness fund and $600 in probation for the coming year.”

        Loyal employee says the cop watched the guy steal the oysters and let him go…true…they kept him under surveillance for ONE DAY so they could see who was buying the stolen goods.
        “Last October 25, Barnstable police observed Mr. Bryant spending between two and three hours raking shellfish from Swan Pond, a couple of hundred yards from his house. At 10 AM on October 26, according to court documents, Barnstable Police Detective Lieutenant Sean E. Balcom arrived at Joe’s Lobster Mart and observed Mr. Bryant’s vehicle pulling out from the right side of Joe’s. According to the police, this is where the market’s loading bay is located. At the time, police said, workers were inside, including Mr. Vaudo…In the conversation that ensued, Mr. Vaudo said he had been working at 10 AM, but denied buying any shellfish that morning or knowing Mr. Bryant.”

        Loyal Employee says that Joe Vaudo is the victim…maybe…or maybe:
        “…prosecutors believe that Mr. Bryant sold Mr. Vaudo stolen shellfish for years.”

        And, yes, Joe was also guilty of tax evasion a few years back. He paid that one off too.

  17. With heroin and Oxycontin running rampant in out towns streets, gun fights and killings now a weekly occurrence & our top cops & detectives are out spending our tax dollars on stolen oysters oyster thieves I guess it is a lot safer bet to go after an oyster thief than a hardened drug dealer.

    I wonder who’s Oysters were stolen? Obviously someone with a high political background. Why else would so much go into finding so little?

    What behooves me the most about this entire ordeal is this Vaudo character can is convicted of a felony “if it was over $250 dollars” yet still have a potentially lucrative political career .

    I guess that’s just par for the course these days!

    A $6,200 dollar fine? for getting $20,000 dollars worth of oysters, “Not to mention the profits from them” Whats is this guy , a politician or something?

    Isn’t the fine supposed to trump the profit from the crime in order to deter it from happening again?
    Then again ….
    What do I know
    Just my 2¢

  18. I am pretty disappointed that Joe was buying stolen oysters, HOWEVER, there really is NO proof that he knew they were stolen. There is only proof that he misled the police. I can’t blame him in the least for this. He was just looking out for his customers best interest. I have have driven many miles out of my way to deal with him because he pays better than the shitbag dealers in my area. Maybe farmers can afford to sell to whoever they feel good selling to, but fisherman sell to whoever pays the best. I’ll still sell to Joe if he manages to stay open. Call him slimey, crooked, sneaky, or whatever you please, but he’s NO DIFFERENT than all the rest of the dealers on the Cape, except that he pays better.

    1. You’re right, plus the charge of obstructing an investigation is such a subjective charge. If a cop with an attitude decides to consider answers an obstruction it’s totally up to him or her. Lots of grey area here. I’ll continue to support Joe’s, he has done so much for the community and everyone is entitled to a mistake without being crucified.

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