Sleeping off duty police officer surprised by intruder

LACONIA — An off-duty police officer got quite a surprise last Friday morning when he was sleeping at his parents' home on Pine Street at 10:30 a.m. after some oral surgery and woke to find a burglar peering into his room.

The officer said he recognized Alan Johnstone, 23, of 37 Fair Street as someone he knew from school and, after a brief conversation, escorted him from his family's home.

After their conversation, the off-duty officer (who doesn't work for Laconia Police) called the Laconia Police, who began an investigation.

Johnstone is charged with one count of burglary.

He also said he heard someone opening the cabinets before Johnstone allegedly entered the bedroom.

During their conversation, affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division yesterday, noted that Johnstone told the officer that his mother had asked him to check in on him.

Police spoke with the homeowner who told them one of her rings was missing and she confirmed for city police that she had not told Johnstone to go into her home to check on her son.

Police said they interviewed a neighbor who told them she had allegedly seen Johnstone walking around the rear of the Pine Street Extension home. She said she saw him knock on a sliding door and then allegedly crawl into the home through a high bathroom window.

During Johnstone's video appearance in court yesterday, Laconia Prosecutor Jim Sawyer said Johnstone had numerous prior criminal convictions, including four for forgery, one for receiving stolen property, and one for attempted burglary.

Sawyer asked for $10,000 cash bail.

Johnstone's Atty. Robert Hemeon said Johnstone had "stopped by to see (the police officer)" and there was no reason for him to crawl through the window because the front door was open and he knew the victim's son. Hemeon said his client wasn't a fight risk, lived at home with his parents, and had turned himself in to police. He requested his client be released on personal recognizance bail.

In countering Hemeon, Sawyer said he wasn't worried about Johnston fleeing. "My problem is the entry to this residence," he said.

Hemeon argued that Johnstone had changed his everyday contacts since his release from jail and "his drug consumption has changed." He also said Johnstone was working.

"I think there's still a presumption of innocence," Hemeon said.

Sawyer said the officer doesn't live at this parents house and was only there because he had had surgery. He said there were no cars in the driveway and the victim's son had found him going through the cupboards.

"He's unable to control himself," Sawyer said.

Judge Jim Carroll agreed and set bail at $10,000 cash only. Should Johnstone post bail, he is to live with his parents, stay away from the officer and his family, and to not go on to Pine Street Extension.