How police dog Max helped put a Northumberland career criminal behind bars

Police dog Max played a part in putting a burglar behind bars – after sniffing out a balaclava covered in the criminal’s DNA.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 3:47 pm
Updated Monday, 24th February 2020, 3:48 pm

Gary Hosie, 36, is behind bars after being sentenced to 23 weeks in prison following a burglary in Northumberland, which saw two intruders try to force their way into a shop.

A court heard how they arrived at the Co-op in Wylam in a silver Volvo before smashing the window of the supermarket and trying to force entry to the cigarette cabinet.

The intruders then fled empty handed after a fire alarm went off.

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Pc Adam Fegan pictured with police dog Max.

The Volvo was found abandoned 30 miles away in West Denton, Newcastle, in the hours after the burglary on Tuesday, April 23 last year.

Pc Adam Fegan and his police dog Max the launched a search of the area in a bid to locate any vital evidence – or a suspect.

While they did not find the burglars, Pd Max continued to track the surrounding area and discovered a discarded balaclava, clothing and gloves hidden in undergrowth nearby.

The balaclava was sent off for forensic testing by Northumbria Police’s Scientific Support Unit and came back as a match for Hosie.

Gary Hosie was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court.

Fingerprints from the boot of the Volvo were also a perfect match for Hosie.

Pc Fegan, of the Force’s Dog Section, said: “Max has had a lot of very good jobs but this is right up there with one of the best.

“He has searched a huge area in the middle of the night but his nose has led him to a crucial piece of evidence in this case.

“Forensics from that balaclava have ultimately secured a conviction and now a prolific burglar is back behind bars.

“Gary Hosie is a career criminal and has spent months trying to avoid police before eventually being brought to justice.

“I hope this case reassures the public that we are more than capable of locating people like him and putting them before the courts.”

Hosie, of no fixed abode, was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday, February 11 and made to pay a victim surcharge of £115.