‘Britain’s dumbest burglar’ leaves fingerprints on four separate break-ins near his home


Karl Hogg, 33, from Houghton Le Spring in County Durham, might be one of the least successful thieves around. He has been caught repeatedly since 2018 after leading obvious clues at four botched burglaries. Most recently, the bumbling burglar broke into a barber’s shop and smashed a staff tip jar to steal the money inside.

What he neglected to realise, however, was that he had left his fingerprints “all over” it.

He also attempted to steal a wall-mounted TV – which he promptly cracked – and did manage to swipe eight pairs of hair clippers, each worth £120, from Jimmy’s Barbers in Sunderland.

The clumsy crook was caught when cops found his fingerprints on the broken tip jar, leaving little doubt that he was the perpetrator of the January 10 robbery.

Mr Hogg denied burglary but was found guilty at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court last month. On Tuesday, March 29, he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court and was sentenced to 15 months in the slammer.

When he committed the ham-fisted crime in Sunderland, Mr Hogg was serving a suspended sentence for a similarly failed robbery of Houghton Comrades Club.

He had first broken into the club in 2019, when he was caught after he left a screwdriver covered in his fingerprints at the scene.

Two years later, Mr Hogg had evidently failed to learn his lesson.

While he successfully broke into the same club on New Years’ Day 2021, he failed to leave without getting his DNA all over the crime scene.

Bloody fingerprints belonging to the thief were found on the door handles and walls of the scene, which was near where he lived, leading to the thief being served with the suspended sentence.

The hapless Mr Hogg was also arrested after he burgled the Royal British Legion Social Club in Houghton Le Spring in August 2018.

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PC Louise Edwards, of Northumbria Police, said: “Karl Hogg has had every opportunity to turn around his life and leave his criminal past behind him.

“He has proven to be a drain on police resources for some time, causing misery to businesses and residents alike as a result of his frequent and widespread offending.

“On this occasion, his greed got the better of him – and our fantastic forensic experts did the rest.

“There is no place for individuals like Hogg in our communities, and that’s why I’m pleased his latest offending has resulted in a custodial sentence.

“The residents of Houghton and Sunderland can sleep easier knowing he is in a prison cell.”


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