I took the truck," said Kevin Tortorella to Eater. "The cops know I have the truck." Tortorella, the owner of Boston's Baddest Burger & Sandwich Company, was referring to the Norwood-based Maine-ly Lobster Food Truck, reported missing in Sharon yesterday. Despite Tortorella's assertion that the police are aware he has the truck, the Sharon police department posted on Facebook about the alleged theft yesterday and confirmed to MassLive.com today that the truck is still "missing."
Sharon Police Deputy Chief John Ford told Eater today that he was surprised the department had not received any tips about the truck. "At this point in time, we've had nothing that's come in," he said but noted that the situation was still under investigation.
"This is a partnership dispute that has been going on for a year," Tortorella said.
Originally from Avon, Tortorella told Eater that he returned to the area in 2009 and got involved in the food truck movement, building the Boston's Baddest Burger brand in 2012. He partnered with Paul Linehan, whom he met through church, and later built the Maine-ly Lobstah brand.
Tortorella serves as president of the corporation behind Boston's Baddest Burger and said he owns 60 percent of that company, while Linehan owns 40 percent. The percentages are swapped for Maine-ly Lobstah, he said.
The harsh winter of 2015 caused friction.
When "snowmageddon" hit the northeast in the beginning of 2015, the weather affected business, Tortorella told Eater, creating friction between himself and Linehan. Following their business disagreement, Tortorella said Linehan walked away in March 2015 and at some point dissolved the Maine-based corporation connected to Maine-ly Lobstah. A dissolution is reflected in the state's corporate filings.
"We had a complete disconnect all through 2015," Tortorella said. The Maine-ly Lobstah truck has not been in operation for 11 months.
According to Tortorella, a company that reportedly stored the truck during the snowstorms delivered the Maine-ly Lobstah truck to Linehan's house in late March 2015. Tortorella said Linehan gave him keys to the truck on September 1, 2015 and took the truck in late February 2016. He also told Eater he was arrested on criminal charges within the last 10 days, "for stealing the truck and breaking into his [Linehan's] house to get keys. Both bogus charges."
"I have to face the fraudulent criminal charges, and we are [re]opening the Canton restaurant on Friday," Tortorella said. (The Canton brick-and-mortar location of Boston's Baddest Burger has been closed since April.) He did not reveal the current location of the truck.
Eater has made attempts to reach Paul Linehan with regards to this story. Any updates will be posted as they are made available.