Ozzy tackles burglars as they steal £1m jewels

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The Independent Online

The rock singer Ozzy Osbourne became the latest victim of celebrity burglaries yesterday when thieves stole an estimated £1m-worth of jewels from his home in Buckinghamshire.

The rock singer Ozzy Osbourne became the latest victim of celebrity burglaries yesterday when thieves stole an estimated £1m-worth of jewels from his home in Buckinghamshire.

The rock singer accosted one of two men who broke into his 18th-century manor house in Chalfont St Peter during an early-morning robbery. The intruders used a ladder to enter the property via a first-floor window before seizing a "large amount" of jewellery.

Osbourne, the former frontman for Black Sabbath, is thought to have lived up to his rock-star credentials by confronting the intruders. He left his wife, Sharon, in the bedroom and made his way into a dressing room where he saw one of the burglars. He grabbed him, a tussle ensued and the intruder escaped by jumping out of a 30ft high window.

The thieves stole many valuable items,including Sharon's 10-carat round-diamond wedding ring, from Tiffany's, and a 24-carat sapphire ring. "It's not the money, it's the memories," Osbourne told The Sun. "The moments they have taken from my wife are the things you can't buy."

The burglary took place only hours after the couple had returned from an evening at The Ivy restaurant in London celebrating the birthday of Sir Elton John's partner, David Furnish. Their children were not thought to be at home at the time. Kelly, their singer daughter, is spending time in Vancouver, and their son, Jack, is in Los Angeles.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police confirmed: "Two men broke into the house. One man used a ladder to climb into a room on the first floor, where the jewellery was kept.

"The disturbance woke the residents and a man grabbed one of the burglars. The offender eventually managed to struggle free and then jumped out of the window and made off. Police believe the burglar who escaped would have been injured after jumping from the window, a drop of 30 feet."

The Osbournes, who were propelled to a second dose of fame by their eponymous reality TV show, relocated from America to the British property while Sharon is appearing on the ITV show The X-Factor.

The incident marks the latest in a string of mishaps to befall the family. The property, which is set in 250 acres of woodland, was the setting of Ozzy's quad bike accident last December. The accident left him in a coma for eight days and he broke his collarbone, six ribs and a vertebra.

The singer, whose rock-star credentials include biting the head off a live bat on stage and a former drug and alcohol addiction, said that his life was saved by his bodyguard, who resuscitated him at the scene.

Meanwhile, Sharon has had a high-profile battle with cancer, and her American talk show was axed earlier this year.

The burglary is the latest in a series of thefts targeting celebrities. An armed gang broke into the home of the presenter Cilla Black, in Denham, Buckinghamshire, in August last year while she was abroad. The burglars held a knife to the throat of her 22-year-old son before stealing jewels, cash and gold worth more than £1m.

Two years ago, Jemima Khan, the former wife of the cricketer Imran Khan, was at her London home with her two sons when a balaclava-clad man with a knife broke into the property. As she hid in a bedroom with her children, a bodyguard fought off the intruder, who fled empty-handed.

Appealing for information about the Osbourne burglary, Detective Constable Gill Fox said: "The burglars will have been driving a large vehicle, possibly a van. I am keen to hear from anyone who may have seen a vehicle leaving the Chalfont St Peter area at speed in the early hours."