A Maine man with a decades-long history of car thefts faces new charges after allegedly stealing two vehicles from Wiscasset Ford in recent weeks. Wiscasset police tracked the man to Michigan, where police arrested him after a brief foot chase today.
Robert G. Steiner, 51, wrote checks to purchase a 2018 Dodge Caravan and a 2019 Ford Ranger from Wiscasset Ford on Nov. 30 and Dec. 4, according to a press release from the Wiscasset Police Department. The checking account was frozen.
Wiscasset Ford reported the thefts Tuesday, Dec. 10. Hesseltine discovered Steiner’s record and learned he was a suspect in two recent vehicle thefts in Knox County and had active arrest warrants from Florida and Michigan for similar activity. Hesseltine obtained warrants for Steiner’s arrest on two counts of class B theft by deception, a felony.
On Wednesday, Dec. 11, Hesseltine recovered the Caravan in Hampden, from a 22-year-old Northport woman. Steiner had given her the vehicle as a gift.
Upon tracking Steiner to an address in Grosse Pointe, Mich., Hesseltine coordinated his arrest with the Grosse Point Police Department. Police in Grosse Point responded to the address and arrested Steiner after a brief foot chase. They also recovered the missing Ranger.
Police believe there may be other victims of vehicle thefts by Steiner and ask any victim, or anyone else with information, to contact their local police department.
A 2015 article in the Portland Press Herald described Steiner as a “smooth-talking con man” who called himself a “confused individual” with “good intentions,” but also bragged and laughed about his crimes, in an interview at the Maine Correctional Center during a six-year sentence for his last spree. He stole seven new vehicles from six Maine dealerships in a single week in 2014.
Steiner’s convictions for car thefts date back to 1987 and he has spent the majority of his adult life in prison, according to reports. A Portland detective told the Portland Press Herald that Steiner does not seem to steal cars for any particular purpose, such as to sell or use them. At the time of the 2015 interview, Steiner’s earliest possible release date was Sept. 28, 2019.