Madison Police say disguised, armed subjects raised alarm while trying to prank homeownerBy JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent
February 08. 2015 7:08PM
MADISON — Police say a prank directed at a homeowner went awry and raised alarms here and in other communities in the Mount Washington Valley that have been beset in recent months by a wave of burglaries.
Madison police on Saturday said they were in contact with the two individuals who were caught on a security camera on Jan. 22 at a residence in the area of George Chick Drive and Route 113 where the duo deliberately staged photos that were intended to scare the homeowner, who was a customer of their boss’s contracting business.
The photos, which were released by the MPD on Feb. 5, immediately after the homeowner saw them, show two people — later determined to be a man and a woman — wearing disguises that included stockings over their faces and carrying what appeared to be large knives.
Madison police Lt. Ted Colby said the photos prompted his agency to increase patrols, to go door-to-door to warn nearby residents, and also to advise area departments to be on the look-out for the pair.
Additionally, the MPD issued an alert to the media, and after the persons in the photos learned that they were being sought, they contacted the homeowner on Friday and confessed to the prank.
In turn, the homeowner notified Madison police, a representative of which on Saturday said he spoke with the subjects earlier that day and they told him they were “very sorry” and didn’t mean to cause the concern they did.
Madison police were scheduled to meet with the pranksters — who will likely not face charges — to ensure that they, and not actual bad guys, were shown in the security photos.
“They knew they were on camera,” a Madison police officer told the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Last Friday, Colby, who has been a member of the MPD for eight years, said he had never encountered a similar situation.
In studying the security photos, the subjects “didn’t give the impression of being professional,” said Colby, adding that “being dressed the way they are would lead me to believe that they are not experienced criminals.”
Had MPD or another police department encountered the pranksters on Jan. 22 while they were in disguise and armed, however, “it would be a very tense opening conversation,” said Colby.