A 49-year-old man who police said was “very adamant” his vehicle had been stolen was arrested Sunday, Feb. 13, after an investigation revealed he instead allegedly crashed the vehicle and then fled the scene.

Chief Deputy Bob Keating said Jeff Dennis, a Montville resident who lives on Peavey Town Road, called police around 6:15 p.m. Sunday to report that his vehicle — a 2002 Toyota Rav4 — had been stolen from in front of his house.

Keating said Dennis reported he parked his vehicle on the side of the road in front of his house, while he went about clearing snow out of his driveway. Keating said Dennis was “very adamant” about this when talking with Deputy Arthur Smith, the officer who initially responded to the compliant.

Smith, according to Keating, detected a “strong odor of alcoholic beverage” coming from Dennis while talking with him. In the course of investigating the complaint Smith drove to the end of Peavey Town Road, where he reportedly found a Toyota Rav4 rolled over.

When Smith checked the vehicle’s registration information, Keating said, he verified it was registered to the same address where he had just been talking with Dennis. Smith called for a K9 unit, and Trooper Shawn Porter of Maine State Police responded, along with his K9, Tex.

“The dog tracked all the way back to the residence where the vehicle was allegedly stolen,” Keating said.

Keating said Smith initially intended to issue Dennis a summons, rather than taking him into custody. Keating said Deputy Dan Thompson also responded to the scene, and said Thompson specifically advised Dennis what the consequence would be if he refused to sign the form.

“[Dennis] still refused, and so he was arrested,” Keating said. Dennis was taken to the Waldo County Jail in Belfast without incident, according to Keating.

Dennis is now facing a total of five charges: filing a false public report, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, driving to endanger, failure to report an accident by the quickest means and refusing to sign a summons form.