WISCASSET — A Warren man is once again behind bars and charged with stealing automobiles.

Robert G. Steiner Courtesy Wiscasset Police Department

Robert G. Steiner, 51, was arrested Wednesday in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, on two warrants for felony theft obtained by Wiscasset Police Chief Lawrence Hesseltine, the department said on its Facebook page. Wiscasset police say that Steiner used a fraudulent scheme to steal two vehicles from Wiscasset Ford.

The Wiscasset department had received a complaint from Wiscasset Ford about the alleged thefts on Tuesday. Police said Steiner wrote checks on Nov. 30 and Dec. 4 to the dealership on a frozen account at Bangor Savings Bank in order to buy a 2018 Dodge Caravan and a 2019 Ford Ranger.

Steiner was being held without bail at the Grosse Pointe Farm, a jail spokesman in Michigan said Wednesday. No court date was available for his initial appearance.

Steiner has a criminal record that goes back decades and car thefts are the common thread.

The Portland Press Herald interviewed Steiner at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham in 2015, when he was serving a sentence for stealing seven new vehicles from six Maine dealerships in a single week in 2014. He sealed the deals with a handshake and a promise to pay that he never kept.

In 2001, he stole three new vehicles from a Portland dealership by pretending he was a business executive buying a fleet for his company. He set the stage for that theft by mailing the dealership a letter of interest with a Windham return address. The dealership didn’t realize it was the mailing address of the prison from which he was then about to be released.

Hesseltine began the current investigation into Steiner and learned of his extensive criminal record. The chief also learned that Steiner was a suspect in two recent Knox County vehicle thefts.

Steiner’s whereabouts were unknown at the time Wiscasset Ford made its report. The most recent indication of his location was the recovery of a stolen vehicle from one of the Knox County thefts at the Portland International Jetport on Dec. 6.

Hesseltine obtained arrest warrants on Tuesday for Steiner. He also had three active warrants for his arrest, two out of Michigan and one out of Florida for similar criminal activity, the Wiscasset department said.

Hesseltine recovered the 2018 Dodge Caravan in Hampden on Wednesday. The vehicle was in the possession of a woman from Northport who had received the vehicle as a gift from Steiner, police said.

The chief tracked Steiner to an address in Grosse Pointe and was able to coordinate with the Grosse Pointe Police Department. Grosse Pointe police responded to the address and after a brief foot chase took Steiner into custody.

Grosse Pointe police also recovered the 2019 Ford Ranger Steiner is accused of stealing from Wiscasset Ford.

“It is believed there may be other victims involved in Mr. Steiner’s vehicle theft spree. The investigation will likely involve multiple jurisdictions and agencies. If you have any information or are a victim of Mr. Steiner’s thefts, please contact your local police department,” the Wiscasset department said in its Facebook post.

Steiner has spent most of his adult life locked in prison, and in 2015 he couldn’t tell the Press Herald why he had repeatedly stolen cars.

“I don’t know. I’ve never been able to figure that out,” he said. “I’m a confused individual in life. I know that. I have good intentions.”

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