Alleged Salvation Army burglar in Austin pleads not guilty on Friday

Published 5:59am Tuesday, December 25, 2012

AUSTIN — A former Salvation Army employee who allegedly tried to burglarize the organization’s drop-off center has pleaded not guilty.

Duane Johnson, 39, of Austin, pleaded not guilty Friday to felony third-degree burglary. Video surveillance allegedly 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 St. NE, at about 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 10. From video surveillance, an employee was able to identify the alleged burglar as Johnson.

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 inside because another man was there and let him in. However, video surveillance shows nobody else in the building, according to police. Johnson admitted he recently relapsed on methamphetamine, according to the report, and police later found a meth pipe and bottle with a white substance at his home.

Johnson’s pretrial is March 28, 2013.