Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver lauded as a 'hero' after tackling 'aggressive' burglar in his home
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has been named a "hero" after reportedly chasing a burglar who attempted to break into his home down the street and tackling him to the ground.
The 43-year-old restaurateur allegedly came across the unidentified man trying to enter his £8.9million north London mansion in Highgate last Tuesday and confronted the "aggressive" would-be-thief.
British newspaper The Mirror reported that, after tackling him to the floor, he held the man to the ground, while other residents called 999 and waited for the police to arrive.
After the ordeal was over, Oliver's neighbours lauded him as "brave" and "selfless", with one revealing that the TV chef joked around with the police afterwards.
"It was just a brave, selfless thing to do," the unnamed neighbour said. "Despite the clearly very hairy situation, Jamie was laughing and joking with the coppers saying they'd done a great job to arrive so quickly after the 999 call. Everyone is really thankful for his quick thinking and courage."
An additional source also told the newspaper that the father-of-five went "absolutely mad" when he came across the thief, stating: "Jamie was alerted to something wrong when he heard a massive commotion coming from his neighbour’s house. He was set to investigate but before he knew it, he was face to face with the burglar himself as he tried to smash his way into his house as well. Jamie went absolutely mad and sprinted after the man down the street before catching up with him and pinning him down to the floor."
Police reportedly suspect that the burglar had already tried to break into other homes on the "exclusive street", including 44-year-old supermodel Kate Moss' house. It is not known if Moss was home at the time of the incident. Oliver is said to have been at home with wife Jools, 43, as well as their children Poppy, 16, Daisy, 15, Petal, nine, Buddy, seven, and two-year-old River when the burglar attempted to enter.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "At 7.13pm on Tuesday, 4th of September, police were called to reports of an aggressive male attempting to gain entry to residential addresses in N6. The male was apprehended by members of the public and was subsequently detained by police. He was taken to a North London police station where he remains at this time. Officers from Central North Command Unit are investigating."
The 43-year-old reportedly bought his eight-bedroom Highgate mansion back in 2015 after moving from nearby area Primrose Hill, where he boasted a £7 million home.
He is currently starring in Channel 4’s Jamie Cooks Italy, an eight-episode show that sees him and his long-time mentor Gennaro Contaldo travel around Italy in an attempt to uncover the nation’s culinary secrets. The most recent episode followed the pair as they went to Basilicata "in search of some seriously old-school Italian recipes, with the help of a family of shepherds and an 89-year-old macaroni master".
Jamie Cooks Italy airs on Mondays at 8.30pm on Channel 4.