Burglar who left DNA-smeared screwdriver at scene jailed after breaking into snooker club for second time

A bungling burglar who left a DNA-smeared screwdriver at the scene of his crime has been jailed.

Friday, 15th February 2019, 9:49 am
Updated Friday, 15th February 2019, 1:02 pm
Karl Hogg.

Karl Hogg, 30, smashed his way into Houghton Comrades Club and then Houghton Snooker Club in the early hours of December 2 last year.

The thief stole a safe and cash from a games machine at the premises, which were both left with substantial damage.

A screwdriver which had Hogg's DNA on it which was found following the burglaries.

But after police found a screwdriver had been left behind at the Snooker Club following the burglary, the net tightened on the brazen bandit.

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Hogg, of Baker Street, Houghton, was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of burglary.

Despite refusing to cooperate with police upon interview, he admitted both offences at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court on January 31.

He was jailed for 18 weeks and ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation.

Houghton Snooker Club.

Detective constable Alex Hadwin, of Northumbria Police, said: “These blatant actions left two of our local establishments with significant repair bills.

“His behaviour was totally unacceptable and he must now deal with the consequences.

“By committing these crimes, Hogg not only showed a complete disregard to people’s livelihoods and jobs, but also the local community as a whole.

“We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour and are committed to pursuing perpetrators who inflict misery on others for purely selfish gains.”

Police received a call shortly after 4am on December 2 after the alarm was triggered at Houghton Comrades Club.

Officers attended and found a safe – which was empty – had been stolen.

A fire door and an internal door had both been damaged.

Less than three hours later, police also received a report that the alarm at Houghton Snooker Club, which is close to the Comrades Club, had been set off twice during the night.

Upon attending, police were informed a fire door and an alarm panel had been damaged, while cash had been stolen from a games machine.

Officers soon spotted a discarded screwdriver on the floor of the snooker club, while a sample of blood was taken from the bar area of the comrades club.

Both items were sent away for analysis and were later matched to Hogg’s DNA.

In interview, Hogg refused to answer questions regarding to both incidents but later admitted two counts of burglary at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

The recent burglary was not the first time Hogg had targeted the snooker club.

Hogg was in intensive care for a week and spent over a month in hospital after falling from a first floor window at the club.

He had been found lying on the ground in a pool of blood with a "substantial head injury" outside the club, where £800 cash had been taken from gaming machines and £3,000 worth of damage had been caused to fixtures.

Hogg, who pleaded guilty to burglary, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with rehabilitation and programme requirements.