Police: Man pretending to be officer robs home

Posted Jan. 24, 2011, at 9:15 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 24, 2011, at 11:20 p.m.
Penob. County Jail | Penob. County Jail

PASSADUMKEAG, Maine — A man who recently moved to town went to a neighbor’s house on Sunday and told the couple living there that he was a Maine State Police trooper, the sheriff’s deputy who arrested him said Monday.

Steven Kinsella, 40, then began to take items from the couple’s home, said Deputy Ray Goodspeed of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department.

A friend of the couple became concerned Sunday night and called police after getting a strange call from Kinsella on a phone belonging to the homeowner, according to the deputy.

“He at some point had gotten ahold of the homeowner’s cell phone and made a call from his recent contacts list,” Goodspeed said. “That person called back and asked to speak to the homeowner, who said they needed the police. They were concerned.”

The friend called police at around 5:55 p.m.

“While en route, we got a second call from state police to say the man was impersonating a trooper,” Goodspeed said.

Kinsella “had some involvement with the state police” on Saturday or the day before and had spoken with state police Trooper Barry Meserve, Goodspeed said. Meserve had given him his business card.

“He was using that as his identification,” the deputy said.

Kinsella was charged with impersonating a public servant, theft by unauthorized taking, and felony burglary. The burglary was upgraded to a felony because he impersonated a trooper to get access to the home, Goodspeed said.

State police troopers arrived first at the scene on Sunday and “recovered items that [Kinsella] was in the process of taking from the residence,” Goodspeed said.

Kinsella took several small items, but the deputy declined to say what they were because the case is still under investigation.

Kinsella recently moved to the area from out of state and had a camp on Goulds Ridge Road that burned but which he rebuilt, Fire Chief Brent Faloon said Monday.

Kinsella had his first court appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday and was released, a jail official said. If convicted of the felony burglary charge, Kinsella could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

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