4 men charged in $1M Canada Day lobster heist

Four men have been charged in connection with a $1 million Canada Day lobster heist in New Brunswick, which police believe may be related to a larger crime ring targeting cargo shipments in the province and neighbouring Quebec.

RCMP believe theft is connected to larger crime ring targeting cargo shipments in New Brunswick and Quebec

RCMP say a stolen transport truck was used in the theft of a refrigerated unit filled with lobster in Grand-Anse, N.B., on July 1. (RCMP)

Four men have been charged in the theft of $1 million worth of lobster in northern New Brunswick company on Canada Day, say RCMP.

Police believe the lobster theft is connected to a larger crime ring targeting cargo shipments in Quebec and New Brunswick, Cpl. Alice Desroches said in a news release on Tuesday.

On July 1, a transport truck was stolen from Eco-Technologies Ltd. in Caraquet, N.B., said Desroches.

The truck was then used to steal a refrigerated unit filled with frozen lobster from LeBreton and Sons Fisheries Ltd. in Grand-Anse, N.B., she said.

One man from New Brunswick and three men from Quebec have each been charged with two counts of theft over $5,000, said Desroches.

A 40-year-old man from Cap-Bateau, N.B., is scheduled to appear in provincial court in Caraquet on June 20.

A 21-year-old man from Terrebonne, Que., is scheduled to appear in provincial court in Tracadie on June 28.

Two other Quebec men, a 42-year-old man from Saint-Benoît-Labre and 52-year-old man from Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, will both appear in court "at a later date," she said.

16 arrested in 6 raids

On March 8, police arrested 16 people, aged 20 to 56, during six raids in New Brunswick and Quebec in connection with an alleged multimillion criminal network.

Ralph Leblanc, 53, of Memramcook is one of three men still wanted by Quebec police in connection with Operation Obliger. (Sûreté du Québec)
Seized items included deluxe cars and truckloads of diapers, pork, lobster and sparkling fruit juice.

Quebec provincial police are still seeking the public's help in locating three men wanted as part of the operation, dubbed Obliger: Ralph Leblanc, 53, of Memramcook, N.B., Yannick Demers, 42, of Sherbrooke, Que., and ​Denis Vallée, 35, of Waterloo, Ont.

Operation Obliger began in June 2016 and involved 78 cases of theft representing more than $5.3 million in stolen goods.

The thefts occurred in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario, police said.