Bangor man arrested in credit union robbery

Posted Jan. 19, 2011, at 4:41 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 02, 2011, at 12:51 p.m.

BANGOR — A 20-year-old Bangor man charged with felony theft this month after his mother reported he had taken thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry and a computer was arrested on Wednesday in connection with Tuesday’s robbery of the Penobscot County Federal Credit Union branch in downtown Bangor.

Donovan W. Steen Jr. was charged with Class B felony robbery, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edward said late Wednesday afternoon in a news release.

Steen, who was taken to Penobscot County Jail after his arrest, was being held on $5,000 cash bail, a jail official confirmed Wednesday night. Steen is scheduled to make a court appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Friday.

According to Bangor detective Sgt. Paul Kenison, Steen was arrested at the Bangor police station Wednesday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the launch of an investigation led by the Bangor Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Bangor office of the FBI.

“We made contact with him and asked him to come in for an interview,” Kenison said Wednesday night. “At the end of the interview, we arrested him.”

Kenison declined to say if Steen confessed during the interview or if he was armed. Kenison also declined to discuss whether Steen had a criminal background but said charges were pending against him.

The Bangor Daily News reported earlier this month that Steen had been arrested on Jan. 7 after his mother reported the theft of about $4,000 in jewelry and a computer, which Steen allegedly sold to local pawn shops. The computer and some of the jewelry have been recovered.

Bangor police, who late Tuesday afternoon released surveillance camera images of the robber and a detailed description of what he was wearing, said they received some solid leads from the public and that those tips were instrumental in Wednesday’s arrest.

“We’ve been really fortunate in that regard,” Kenison said.

Detective Jim Carr agreed, calling the leads “very helpful” Wednesday night.

In a mugshot provided by Bangor police after Steen’s arrest, the suspect appears to be wearing the same white-and-blue Billabong hooded sweatshirt described by police and shown in the surveillance images provided to the news media.

Sgt. Bob Bishop said Wednesday night that Steen grew up in Bangor and recently returned to his hometown after a stay in Texas.

Steen’s Facebook page says that he graduated from Bangor High School in 2008 and that he most recently was employed at an Olive Garden restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, and before that by Microdyne Outsourcing in Orono and at Shaw’s and Burger King in Bangor.

Bishop described Steen as a transient.

According to the previously published theft report, his mother, who originally was reluctant to press charges because she wanted to give him a second chance, eventually turned him in and kicked him out of the house.

Tuesday’s robbery occurred at 4:25 p.m., just before the credit union’s 4:30 p.m. closing time.

The robber walked into the credit union and got away with an undisclosed amount of money, Steve Baillargeon, president and CEO of Penobscot County Federal Credit Union, said Wednesday.

“We are very proud of the staff,” he said. “They did an exceptional job following their robbery training.”

Because of the investigation, Baillargeon was not able to say how many people were in the credit union at the time of the robbery or whether the robber used a note or displayed a weapon.

The Penobscot County Federal Credit Union has been in existence for 42 years and is headquartered in Old Town. The downtown Bangor branch, located at 1 Merchants Plaza, opened eight years ago and never had been robbed before, Baillargeon said. He said he decided to visit the branch on Wednesday to help reassure his staff.

The credit union is located just down the street from the Bangor Police Department, and even though police converged upon the crime scene within seconds of receiving the report, the robber managed to elude them.

At one point Tuesday, a canine unit was used to track the robber, who fled on foot. The dog appeared to pick up a scent that led it through downtown to Union Street, near High Street, but lost the trail at that point, Edwards said Tuesday at the scene.

Edwards said Wednesday that authorities still are investigating the robbery and urged anyone with information on the case to call Detectives Jim Carr or Cliff Worcester at 947-7382, ext. 6.

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