WATERBORO, Maine — An auto repair shop owner is behind bars after he sold an elderly customer’s car while he was supposed to be repairing it, according to police.
Scott Depeter, also known as Thomas Depeter, 43, of Waterboro was charged with felony theft by deception and felony aggravated forgery, the York County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Saturday.
Deputy Shawn Sanborn obtained an arrest warrant for Depeter who surrendered to authorities Friday.
In January, Depeter was charged with theft by deception in connection with a “Craigslist scam” that police said he conducted that duped an Illinois man out of several hundred dollars.
The sheriff’s office received in July another complaint about another theft. Earlier this year, an elderly victim had left his 1999 Ford Mustang at Airport Autobody to have a window repaired. The job was taking an extraordinary amount of time and the elderly man checked back periodically.
At one point, Depeter told the man that the vehicle was “rusted” and needed additional repairing to which the victim agreed, according to the sheriff’s office.
While waiting for the repair, Airport Autobody closed and Depter moved the victim’s vehicle to his new Waterboro location. The elderly victim fell ill, and he was unable to check on the progress of the work.
The elderly man was billed $2,000 for repair work, and he was not allowed to see the vehicle until payment was made. The man filed several complaints with the Sanford Police Department and the York County Sheriff’s Office.
Sanborn, a deputy with the sheriff’s office, initiated an investigation and discovered the vehicle was registered to a man in Wakefield, New Hampshire. The investigation revealed that Depeter sold the vehicle without a title and forged a bill of sale. That new owner then sold it to the man in Wakefield. The vehicle has been recovered and will be returned to its rightful owner, according to the sheriff’s office.
Depeter is being held at the York County Jail in Alfred in lieu of $25,000 bail.
He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Monday at York County Superior Court in Alfred.