A CHEF has been praised for his quick thinking after he spotted a burglar in the process of raiding an Ealing newsagent's.
Carl Benjamin, 34, was looking after Raj's newsagent in St Mary's Road, Ealing, while his aunt, Anne Mills, was on holiday. When he went to open up at 5am he saw a man rummaging around inside the shop (March 18) so rang the police and then dashed round to the back and held on to him until the police arrived.
Carl, 34, a chef of Webster Gardens, Ealing, said: "As I pushed the key in I saw a head go up inside so I rang the police who said:'don't go for him.' I saw him go towards the back so I couldn't wait for them. I ran round the back of the shop and he was going over the wall so I grabbed him and then the police came up and got him.
"He was taller than me, but I wasn't frightened. I didn't think he might have a weapon. I just thought:'I'm not going to let you get away.' I bruised my knuckle a bit. Anne was more shocked than me."
Anne, who said it was her second burglary, said: "I am amazed he got in as we have metal bars on the window. He took a lot of cigarettes. It could have been a lot worse. If I had been there it would have been me who confronted him. Carl is so good-natured and works so hard. I am so very proud of him."
Bruce Dalton, in his 70s, who lives nearby and knows the family well, said: "Carl is the most self-effacing, humble person who had a great presence of mind to do what he did. He displayed real courage and humility; a really cool customer who just thought he did what had to be done. Watch out Steve McQueen."
Jason Kelly, 40, of Dehavilland Close, Northolt, was charged with a non residential burglary at Raj's newsagent on March 18 and appeared at Ealing magistrates' court last week (March 23) He was sent to prison for eight weeks. There was no order for compensation.