Jamie Oliver wears a lot of hats. Chef, TV personality, cookbook author, healthy eating campaigner — and now detective.
The 45-year-old star branded the police response "unimpressive" after a tractor was stolen from his Essex home in a midnight raid in April.
According to The Sun, Oliver told locals he was able to follow trackers placed on the vehicle and even had the registration of the thieves' Mercedes 4x4 after a covering fell off and the number plate was captured on CCTV.
He said he was able to track the agricultural vehicle and trailer within hours to a remote field, where the thieves had seemingly abandoned it.
"Police weren’t interested in meeting us at the crime location where our stolen items had been taken," said Oliver. "So I had to send my team there to get it back. Honestly?"
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He added: "I do realise the police are busy but this type of crime is very common. For me, when it’s active crime with good data etc why would you not follow up?
“Anyway no bother we had it all back by 9.30am. There was also other generators and equipment left in the same area undoubtedly from other crimes.
"So that’s all just letting you know in good community spirit — keep an eye out. The thieves are really confident.
"They were on site for 35 minutes and not in a rush so we have made some relevant changes so we’re covered in the future.”
An Essex Police spokeswoman told The Sun that police were unable to attend Oliver's home during the tractor theft as they were "dealing with other incidents".
She added: "The informants recovered the vehicles themselves before officers had the opportunity to get there. Our crime scene investigators attended at 10.15am that day, shortly after the crime was reported.
"No forensic opportunities were found on the vehicles but our enquiries into the theft remain ongoing.
"We always prioritise calls where there is the greatest risk of harm to people and threat to life. This means we can’t always attend some incidents immediately but we do our best.”
It's not the first time Oliver has been the victim of crime, with the telly chef chasing down a burglar in 2018 while living in the Highgate area of London.
A neighbour said at the time that they were "really thankful for his quick thinking and courage", given a spate of thefts in the area.
Oliver now lives with his wife Jools and five children on a sprawling £6m estate near the village of Finchingfield, spanning 70 acres of land.
At the centre of their estate is the Grade I listed Spains Hall, which dates back to the 16th century and was purchased by Oliver in 2019.
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