CHESTERVILLE — Police say they are seeking a man who broke into a Chesterville home but then fled after he found a teenage girl hiding in a bedroom.

Both Kennebec County and Franklin County sheriff’s departments have issued arrest warrants issued for Stephen Dingus, 31, of Augusta, according to Nichols. Dingus has been identified as the suspect based on a car license plate number provided by the girl and other witnesses accounts.

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols said the burglar entered the Vienna Road home around 9:15 a.m. Monday using an unknown tool to open the door. When the burglar entered the bedroom where the girl was hiding, the sight of her scared him from the house, Nichols said.

He said the girl assisted Deputy Nicholas Zecher and Detective Ken Charles by immediately reporting the burglary and providing police with a description of the burglar and his vehicle.

“She had the presence of mind right off the bat to call 911,” he said.

Dingus has prior convictions in 2009 for operating while his license was suspended or revoked and in 2010 for unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, according to published court records.

Nichols said police believe he may be involved in other area burglaries as well.

Nichols said the arrest warrants against Dingus are for charges of burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools.

Maine State Police and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office are assisting with the investigation.

Nichols said the teenager lived with her mother in the home, though she was the only one home at the time.

“We’re just thankful nothing worse happened,” he said.

 

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

kschroeder@centralmaine.com