South Portland police say they now believe a man arrested Tuesday for stealing a car at gunpoint from a woman at the Maine Mall is not responsible for that crime.

Police have downgraded the charges against Christopher Gallant, 42, of South Portland, from Class A Robbery to Class E theft. He was released after paying a $40 bail.

Police said the Class E theft charge remained for “administrative” reasons.

However, they now believe he was not responsible for the car theft at the Maine Mall.

Despite the wrongful arrest, Police say they believe they had probable cause to arrest Gallant, who was identified by the victim and a witness.

According to police, a man matching Gallant’s description and holding a gun forced his way into the back seat of a 25-year-old woman’s car just before 11 a.m. Tuesday in a parking lot outside of Macy’s. The woman refused to drive away with the man in the car, however, and a witness began honking a horn to attract attention. The woman dropped her keys and fled from the car.

Police located the car about a half hour later in the parking lot of the Howard Johnson’s on Main Street in South Portland. They later found Gallant in the lobby of the hotel.

Police say wrong man arrested in car jacking

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