Resident gets 15 years probation for burglary, drugs

Published 7:03 am Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An Oakland, Minn., woman was sentenced to 15 years of supervised probation and 40 hours of community service for felony drug possession and felony burglary, stemming from multiple incidents last summer.

Susan Lynn Johnston, 42, was first cited for burglary on Aug. 11.

According to a criminal complaint, she broke into a home on the 1200 block of 12th Drive Southwest at least three times, the first being in early July, and the last two coming July 12 and 13 — both of which were caught on tape.

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The 73-year-old man who lives at the home told police that he set up a motion-sensitive camera in a tree near his front door.

He reported a number of household items missing, including a paint sprayer valued at $600 to $700, as well as $1,250 in cash.

According to the complaint, Johnston later admitted to entering the house and stealing items, saying what she did was “wrong” and “stupid.”

Johnston said she had canoed near the house on several occasions in the past and thought that it was abandoned, which is why she said she attempted the burglary.

On July 23, Johnston returned a number of household items she had taken, including a vacuum, a wrench set, a few flashlights and a cooler.

She said she had not seen $1,250 in cash while in the home.

She also said she didn’t recall seeing a second cooler that had been reported missing.

A few weeks later, Johnston was stopped at Highway 218 and Seventh Avenue Northeast for erratic driving.

Johnston was unable to provide a driver’s license or proof of insurance for the Chevy Blazer, which she said had recently been purchased by a friend, according to a court complaint.

The deputy checked records and noticed that the vehicle had been reported as stolen in Fillmore County.

Johnston was arrested and the vehicle was searched, during which two grams of methamphetamine were found in a cigarette pack. A scale and more meth residue was also found in the car. Johnston had $1,000 cash on her person as well.

Johnston was originally charged with three counts of felony burglary, two counts of felony theft, felony drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.

Five of the charges were dropped when she pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary of a dwelling, a felony, and fifth-degree drug possession, a felony, in January. She was sentenced Friday to 10 years probation for the burglary charge and five years for the drug charge — to be served concurrently.