November 14, 2013

Two Augusta men arrested in Chesterville burglary where girl hid in bedroom

Augusta residents Stephen Dingus and his uncle, James Dingus, both 31, may also be connected to Kennebec, Lincoln county crimes

By Amy Calder
Staff Writer

Two men were arrested Thursday afternoon in Augusta in connection with the burglary of a home in Chesterville where a teenage girl was hiding in a bedroom.

One of the men, Stephen Dingus, 31, tried to avoid arrest by jumping out the second story window of a State Street apartment, according to a news release from Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

State police Lt. Shaun Currie saw him jump and took him into custody shortly after he landed, McCausland said.

The other man, Dingus’ uncle James Dingus, also 31 and at the same 37 Gage St. residence, was taken into custody as he was walking on Gage Street, McCausland said.

State police and detectives from the Franklin and Lincoln county sheriff’s offices searched the Dinguses’ apartment and seized a maroon 1998 Chevrolet Lumina, McCausland said.

The Dinguses were wanted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the home invasion and face a number of charges in connection with several burglaries in Franklin and Lincoln counties, he said. After their arrests, the men were taken to the Kennebec County jail, he said.

Franklin County Sheriff Scott R. Nichols said the arrests were the result of an investigation by his office’s criminal investigation division, state police, Augusta police and investigators from the Kennebec and Lincoln county sheriff’s offices.

The Kennebec and Franklin county sheriff’s offices issued arrest warrants earlier this week for Stephen Dingus, who was identified as a suspect in the Chesterville home invasion based on a car license plate number provided by the girl who was hiding in the bedroom, as well as other witness accounts. The arrest warrants were for burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools.

Nichols said a burglar, using a tool, entered the girl’s Vienna Road home around 9:15 a.m. Monday. When he entered the bedroom where the girl was hiding, the sight of her scared him from the house, according to Nichols.

She immediately called 911 and provided officials descriptions of both the burglar and his vehicle.

According to published reports, Stephen Dingus has prior convictions for driving while his driver’s license was suspended or revoked, in 2009; and for unlawful possession of drugs, in 2010.

Amy Calder — 861-9247 Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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