AUBURN — Two Twin Cities men who police said were masked, armed with knives and planning to hold up a Lewiston restaurant were charged this week with attempted robbery.

Noah Breau, 21, left, of Lewiston and Christian G. Copeland, 19, of Auburn Lewiston Police Department photos

Noah Breau, 21, of 64 Oxford St., Lewiston and Christian Copeland, 19, of 60 Washington St. in Auburn were indicted by an Androscoggin County grand jury this week and charged with Class B robbery, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

According to an affidavit, police got a tip the night of Dec. 20 that a group had planned to rob Buddy T’s Pub and Restaurant at 675 Main in Lewiston.

At 12:30 a.m. Lewiston police responded to a report of a burglary on East Avenue that turned out to be a false report.

An officer remembering the earlier tip believed the burglary report might have been intended to create a diversion. The officer drove to the restaurant where he saw four people dressed in dark clothing and wearing face masks while standing next to an exterior door at the restaurant, according to the affidavit.

The officer called for assistance and approached the four men. A pat-down produced four knives, one on each of the suspects.

One of the men was the tipster who had given his boss at another restaurant the information that led police to Buddy T’s. His boss had told him to go along with the other three to get information about the plan. That source told police after the four men were taken to the police station that Copeland had asked him earlier if he wanted to make $1,000 and told him about the robbery plan.

Breau had given the tipster a face mask, gloves and showed him a map of the layout at Buddy T’s, where Breau had worked.

While the group waited behind a Cumberland Farms for the last of the customers to leave the restaurant, the tipster texted his boss to inform him of what was happening.

Copeland told police Breau had devised the robbery a month earlier. Copeland was expected to “go for the safe with the owner. He stated that if the owner would not give them the code to the safe, they would go for the cash register.”

Copeland told police he was “desperate for money and knew that it was a bad idea but went along with it anyway.”

Breau told police that the tipster was the one who had come up with the robbery plan and had a map of the restaurant. He said the fourth man, a 17-year-old male, wasn’t involved because he had been on probation.

He said he used to work at the restaurant and knew there would be $2,000 to $3,000 at the business on a Friday night. He said he had waited outside the restaurant with the others, but “he was not going to do anything.”

Breau was released on personal recognizance with conditions to have no contact with the restaurant owner or the tipster as well as co-defendants Copeland and the juvenile, who also was charged with attempted robbery. Breau may not go to the restaurant and is confined to house arrest except for medical and legal appointments and work, according to court papers.

Copeland also was released on personal recognizance with the same conditions as Breau. Neither man is to have alcohol, illegal drugs or dangerous weapons.

A mental examination was ordered for Copeland to determine his competency to proceed in the criminal case.


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