AUBURN – The Lewiston man accused of crashing a stolen airplane outside of Montreal on Sunday is awaiting trial in Canada while police here investigate whether he had anything to do with two earlier airplane break-ins.

Jason Begin, 25, is facing charges in the United States and Canada for allegedly stealing a small plane from Twitchell’s Airport in Turner and crashing it into a field after he crossed the border.

The plane belonged to Cedric Abbott, an airplane mechanic who lives in Buckfield.

Begin, who lives on Howe Street and was scheduled to go to trial in November on rape and unlawful sexual contact charges, survived the crash with minor injuries.

He is scheduled to appear in a Canadian courthouse next week to face immigration and stolen-property charges. It is likely that Canada will simply deport him, said Sgt. William Gagne, a detective for the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department who is handling the case.

Begin would then be extradited to Maine where he would face a long list of old and new charges, including the two sex assault charges as well as charges of theft and violating the conditions of his bail.

Additional charges could be added if police find evidence to connect him with the two earlier break-ins.

Eric Anderson, a pilot who lives in Auburn, said someone attempted to steal his Cessna 185 on July 30. The plane sits behind a fence on River Road, and the person cut the padlocks on the fence to get to it, Anderson said.

The person broke a door lock and the ignition switch but wasn’t able to get the plane started.

Auburn Police investigated the incident, Anderson said, but never found the person responsible. After Sunday’s theft from Twitchell’s, the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department contacted Anderson to get more information, he said.

The second incident involved an airplane belonging to the owners of Twitchell’s Airport.

Dale Twitchell said someone broke into one of their training planes on the same morning that Abbott’s plane was stolen. In an apparent attempt to hot-wire the plane, Twitchell said, the person stuck something in the ignition switch and broke it.

Twitchell discovered the damage Tuesday and reported it to the sheriff’s department.

Sgt. Gagne confirmed that he is investigating the other incidents to determine if they have any connection to last Sunday’s theft. But he declined to disclose any details, explaining that he still hadn’t interviewed Begin about the earlier break-ins.



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