Burglar jailed over Poppy Appeal cash after he was caught by DNA on dirty sock left at scene
A bungling burglar who was caught after leaving a DNA-smeared sock at the scene of his crime is behind bars.
Karl Hogg, 31, broke into the Dubmire Royal British Legion Social Club in Fencehouses in August and stole alcohol and cash from a games machine and charity collection boxes in aid of the British Legion Poppy Appeal and Sunderland Royal Hospital.
But Hogg inadvertently left behind a sock which later came back as a forensic match.
Hogg, of Baker Street, Houghton-le-Spring, admitted burglary last month and appeared at a Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing today, Friday, October 4.
He was jailed for 20 months.
Police were called to the social club shortly after 4am on August 15 after the premises’ steward was alerted that the alarm was going off.
When officers attended, they found damage to the roof – along with discarded items including empty alcohol bottles, a small amount of cash and a sock.
CCTV footage showed Hogg inside the club on, while the sock later came back as a DNA match.
Detective Constable Alex Hadwin, of Northumbria Police, said: “Burglary is a disgraceful crime that can affect victims and the community for a long time, but 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.
In a victim impact statement, the social club’s stewardess revealed the damage to the premises and value of items stolen came to a total of 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.”