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Bungling burglar who left DNA-smeared screwdriver at scene of his crime jailed
15 Feb | 14:24

Karl Hogg, 30, raided Houghton Comrades Club & Houghton Snooker Club on the same night in December last year

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

Karl Hogg, 30, smashed his way into Houghton Comrades Club and 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.

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

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.

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 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.

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