Man who reported vehicle stolen charged with leaving scene of accident

Posted Feb. 15, 2011, at 5:05 p.m.
Jeff Dennis
Photo Courtesy of Waldo County Jail
Jeff Dennis

MONTVILLE, Maine — A local man who called police this weekend to report that his vehicle had been stolen ended up being arrested after authorities pieced together an entirely different version of what happened to his compact SUV.

Jeff Dennis, 49, of Peaveytown Road reported Sunday evening that his blue Toyota RAV4 had vanished while he was shoveling snow. Dennis told a Waldo County Sheriff’s Office deputy that he had parked it on the road, leaving the key in the car but not the ignition, and that someone had taken it.

“He was very adamant that the vehicle had been stolen,” Chief Deputy Robert Keating said Tuesday morning.

Deputy Arthur Smith detected the scent of intoxicants on Dennis’ breath, Keating said.

When the deputy searched the area for any signs of the missing vehicle, he spotted a blue Toyota RAV4 that had rolled over on the outer end of Peaveytown Road.

Smith checked the car to see if anyone was injured inside and then called for a police dog to see where the driver had gone.

“The dog was able to detect a scent,” Keating said. “The dog tracked it back to the address where Mr. Dennis was at.”

Despite that, Dennis was still adamant that he had not driven the vehicle, Keating said.

Smith nevertheless charged Dennis with making a false public report, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, driving to endanger and failure to report an accident by the quickest means.

Dennis refused to sign the summons, which is not an admission of guilt, Keating said.

At that point Smith arrested Dennis for refusing to sign a summons. He was taken to Waldo County Jail, where he was booked and then released on $5,000 unsecured bail, according to a jail official.

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