Poppy appeal thief 'cannot be trusted to live in a lawful society' police say

A heartless raider who stole from a Poppy appeal tin after breaking into a Wearside social club ‘cannot be trusted to live in a lawful society,’ says a Northumbria Police detective.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 2:43 pm
Updated Monday, 7th October 2019, 4:29 pm

Karl Hogg, 31, broke into the Dubmire Royal British Legion Social Club in Fencehouses in August.

After removing tiles from the roof, the burglar smashed through the ceiling before stealing alcohol and money from charity coffers.

But Hogg – who had left behind empty bottles of spirits at the premises – also dropped a sock at the scene which later came back as a forensic match.

Police have slammed Karl Hogg for his selfish thefts

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Hogg, of Baker Street, Houghton-le-Spring, admitted the burglary last month and was jailed for 20 months on Friday, October 4.

Detective Constable Alex Hadwin, of Northumbria Police’s southern burglary team, said: “This was a despicable crime as Hogg targeted a charity that supports Armed Forces members, veterans and their families.

“Charities such as the Royal British Legion rely on the support of volunteers and the community, who work all year-round and carry out various fundraising activities.

“But Hogg showed he cannot be trusted to live in a lawful society as he carried out his callous crime, emptying fundraising buckets and stealing alcohol for his own purely selfish gain.

Hogg was caught by DNA on a sock he left at the scene

“His deception was laid bare after a dirty sock which he had used as part of the burglary was inadvertently left at the scene smeared with his DNA, along with alcohol bottles on the roof which he had consumed.

“We are committed to taking burglars off our streets, and Hogg is another prolific offender who will now spend a considerable amount of time in jail.”

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 of the premises – along with a number of discarded items including empty alcohol bottles, a small amount of cash and a sock.

Money had been stolen from a games machine and charity collection boxes in aid of the Legion’s Poppy Appeal and the Integrated Critical Care Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.