UK celebrity chef apologizes in shoplifting case

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LONDON (AP) - A celebrity chef apologized on his website Monday after he was caught shoplifting from a supermarket.

Antony Worrall Thompson was arrested Friday after reportedly stealing cheese and wine from a Tesco store in the posh riverside town of Henley-on-Thames, west of London.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman who asked not to be identified because of force policy said there had been five separate offenses over the Christmas holidays, leading to an arrest on Friday.

In a statement on his website, the 60-year-old Worrall Thompson, who has appeared on daytime cookery show “Ready Steady Cook,” said he was sorry for his misdeeds.

“I am so sorry for all my recent stupid and irresponsible actions; I am of course devastated for my family and friends, whom I’ve let down and will seek the treatment that is clearly needed,” he said. “I am not the first, and I certainly won’t be the last person to do something without rhyme or reason _ what went through my head, only time will tell.”

Worrall Thompson also apologized to Tesco staff. His representatives declined to elaborate on this statement.

The Sun newspaper _ in a front page story Monday _ said he stole cheese and wine. The newspaper, without citing any sources, said he had shoplifted on several occasions by using an automated self-checkout machine but not scanning all of the items.

Thames Valley Police issued Worrall Thompson with a formal caution _ a written rebuke for a crime. Worrall Thompson will not face further charges but the caution can be mentioned in court if he has more trouble with the law.

Many programs designed to help shoplifters curb their impulses regard it as a psychological problem that can sometimes be treated with therapy and medication, including antidepressants. Experts say it usually arises because of personal issues and conflicts, not poverty or greed.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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