Career Criminal Receives 45-Year Sentence for Crimes Committed Only Days After Being Released from Prison

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Thomas James Hooghe was sentenced to serve 45 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to Motor Vehicle Theft and three counts of Grand Larceny.

On April 19, 2014, the Ridgeland Police Department responded to The Club on Lake Harbour Drive and officers spoke to an individual who reported that his Rolex watch had been stolen after someone had broken into his locker. Police met with the manager of The Club and were able to use video from the surveillance system to identify an unknown older white male subject as a suspect in the theft.

Three days later on April 22, 2014, the Madison Police Department was called to the Baptist HealthPlex after it was discovered that several lockers had been broken into and a 2010 Toyota SUV had been taken from the parking lot. The Madison Police Department was able to review video surveillance from Baptist HealthPlex which showed the same individual, previously identified by the Ridgeland Police Department, as being involved in these thefts.

A photograph of the subject was run on several local television station in an attempt to seek out information regarding the suspect’s identify. An individual saw the photograph and called both Crime Stoppers and the Madison Police Department. The caller was able to identify Thomas Hooghe as the individual depicted in the surveillance video. Investigators were then able to determine that Hooghe’s last known address was at the New Way Transitional Living Center in Jackson. A warrant was issued for Hooghe’s arrest.

On April 24, 2014, the Madison Police Department was contacted by the Brandon Police Department and informed that Hooghe had been detained in Brandon after employees of The Club in Brandon became suspicious of Hooghe after he entered the gym. The manager of The Club in Brandon reported that Hooghe had entered the gym and had gone into and out of the locker room on numerous occasions. When the Brandon Police Department arrived on the scene they learned through a records check that Hooghe was wanted by the Madison Police Department for the crimes that had occurred at the HealthPlex. When officers of the Madison Police Department arrived to transport Hooghe back to Madison County they noticed that the clothes he was wearing at the time of his arrest were the same clothes that he had worn at the time he committed his crimes in Madison County.

Guest stated, “Hooghe is a habitual criminal who had just been released by the Mississippi Department of Corrections to the New Way Transitional Living Center on April 17. Hooghe had only been released from prison for 2 days before he began once again to steal from the hard working citizens of our community. Hooghe’s actions clearly show that he can never be rehabilitated and that he should spend the rest of his life behind bars.”

Guest added, “Hooghe’s criminal record shows that he has previously been convicted of felony offenses on at least five occasions in three different states. I hope that the forty five year sentenced handed down in this case will keep Hooghe from ever again having the opportunity to take what doesn’t belong to him.”

Guest concluded, “This case is another example of what can be accomplished when law enforcement agencies work together. Because of the combined efforts of the Madison, Ridgeland, and Brandon Police Departments Hooghe was back in custody after only a week of having been released from prison. I cannot thank these officers enough for all that they do to keep the citizens of Madison and Rankin County safe.”

Hooghe has previously been convicted of multiple counts of burglary in Hamilton County Ohio, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in Harrison County Texas, and Motor Vehicle Theft in Desoto County Mississippi.

Defendants:
Name: Thomas James Hooghe
Date of Birth: 7/19/57
Address: 916 Ingo Street, Jackson, MS