Bungling burglar caught by DNA on dirty sock after stealing cash from Poppy Appeal tin from social club
A bungling burglar was convicted after leaving a DNA-smeared sock at the scene of his crime.
Karl Hogg, 31, broke into the Dubmire Royal British Legion Social Club in Fencehouses on Thursday, August 15, removing tiles from the roof, before smashing through the ceiling to steal alcohol and money from a games machine and collection boxes in aid of the Poppy Appeal and the Integrated Critical Care Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Police found empty bottles of spirits at the premises.
Hogg, of Baker Street, Houghton-le-Spring, admitted the burglary at a Newcastle Crown Court hearing. He is due to be sentenced on October 4.
Detective Constable Alex Hadwin, of Northumbria Police, said: “For somebody to steal from a charity which supports Armed Forces members, veterans and their families is deplorable.
“Charities such as this rely on the good-will and support of volunteers and the community, who work hard all year-round in various fundraising ventures.
“Hogg showed a total disregard for the charity and the local community as a whole as he carried out his crime, emptying fundraising buckets and stealing alcohol for his own purely selfish gain.
Police were called to the club shortly after 4am after the steward was alerted the alarm was going off.
They found damage to the roof along with a number of discarded items including empty alcohol bottles, a small amount of cash and a sock.
CCTV footage showed Hogg skulking inside the club on the morning in question, while the sock came back as a DNA match. He was arrested and charged with burglary.
In a victim impact statement, the club’s stewardess revealed damage to the premises and value of items stolen came to more than £6,000.
“The burglary and in particular the theft of charity amounts is sickening,” she said.
“The crime has upset our members and caused our staff an inconvenience. This is a family club and I’m sick that we have been targeted in such a way.”