Simon Cowell has branded a neighbourhood security guard a "hero" after he managed to retrieve his passport from a burglar who broke into his home on Friday. The music mogul revealed that the guard, named Mendes, confronted the thief in the street and reclaimed a bag of Simon's possessions - although he failed to apprehend the burglar.
Speaking outside his London home on Saturday night, Simon said: "That man is a hero and will be getting a Christmas bonus," adding that he had terminated the contract of one of his own private security guards.
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Simon Cowell described the burglary as "nerve-racking"
On the incident, the X Factor judge said: "The most frightening thing is someone has been in your house. It's not what they steal, it's that someone can break into your house. It's nerve-racking.
"No one got hurt. Someone gets into your house and steals stuff - it could have been worse. I was fine. Lauren was woken up with me and checked on Eric."
Thieves broke into Simon's £10million Holland Park Mansion around 2.20am on Friday morning, while Simon, his girlfriend Lauren Silverman and their son Eric were all asleep. The perpetrators entered the property and stole jewellery and cash from the safe - some of which was retrieved by the neighbourhood security guards who were patrolling the area.
Simon was at home with girlfriend Lauren and their son Eric
"There are private security guards who patrol the area and they saw the guy leave and he dropped my passport," Simon explained. "[One] got out the car, picked up my passport, realised it was mine and approached the guy. The guy ran off and then he [the guard] told us there was somebody who'd burgled the house - that's how we found out about it."
Joking about his pet Yorkshire Terriers Squiddly and Diddly, he added: "We have the worst guard dogs in the world. Maybe we'll get bigger dogs."
Police are continuing to investigate the incident. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed the burglary and said: "Police were called to an address in W14…to reports of a burglary in progress. Officers attended the scene but the suspects had left the area. Inquiries continue [and there have been] no arrests."