Shrimp Photo via:  S Khan/Flickr

A Spencer, Massachusetts man was sentenced to prison today over a shrimp heist gone terribly wrong. The 38-year-old thief was identified as John Pinard, who attempted to steal approximately $300 worth of frozen shrimp last year from an area Price Chopper supermarket. The store’s manager,  Thomas Bourassa, told authorities that he had approached Pinard after the man’s behavior struck him as a bit… fishy.

Bourassa said that after observing Pinard loading the shrimp into several bags and attempting to leave without paying, he attempted to keep the crustacean-carrying criminal from leaving the store.  Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Simmons says that the provoked Pinard responded by striking Mr. Bourassa several times with a shopping cart and then threatening to stab him and another employee with a hypodermic needle if they didn’t back off.

Mr. Simmons explained that Pinard then abandoned the sprimp heist in favor of stealing a radio communication device from Bourassa and then fleeing the scene in a Ford Explorer. Unfortunately for Pinard however, not only did he leave the shrimp behind, he also accidentally left a pill bottle on the scene- which happened to be labeled with his name. He was found hiding in his girlfriend’s closet shortly after the incident and taken into custody.

Pinard pled guilty in a Worcester Superior Court on charges of armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (the shopping cart) and assault and battery. His lawyer revealed during the trial that Pinard has struggled with drug addiction issues since he was a teen.

Judge Kenton-Walker sentenced the shrimp thief to 3 to 5 years in state prison, with 2 years of probation to follow. Under the terms of his probation, Pinard was ordered to  undergo a substance abuse evaluation and any related treatment recommended by the Probation Department, consent to random drug testing, and stay away from the Price Chopper. Pinard was given credit for time served since his arrest last June.