Alleged Salvation Army burglar changes plea to guilty

Published 5:46am Sunday, March 31, 2013

A former Salvation Army employee who tried to steal from that organization’s Austin drop-off center changed his plea to guilty on Thursday

Duane Johnson, 40, of Austin, pleaded guilty to felony third-degree burglary in Mower County Court.

Video surveillance reportedly foiled Johnson’s plan. Police received the report from a different Salvation Army employee on Monday that someone broke into the drop-off center, 700 10th Street NE, at about 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 10. From video surveillance, an employee was able to identify the alleged burglar as Johnson, a former employee.

Police arrested Johnson at his home at 9:30 a.m. the next Monday. Johnson said he went to drop off clothes at about 5:30 p.m. on Saturday but went in the building because another man was there and let him inside. However, video surveillance shows nobody else in the building, according to police. Johnson admitted he recently relapsed on methamphetamines, according to the report, and police later found a meth pipe and bottle with a white substance at his home.

Johnson’s sentencing is set for June 6.

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