Homeless woman thanked for foiling Oxford shop burglary

Lottie Image copyright Lush Oxford
Image caption Lottie has been sleeping rough outside the store on-and-off for about five years and is well-known to staff

A homeless woman foiled a burglary at a beauty store when she challenged an intruder in the midst of a raid.

Staff at Lush in Cornmarket Street, Oxford, discovered a laptop and large box of cosmetics had disappeared when they opened the shop on Wednesday.

The next day Lottie, who sleeps rough outside the store with her dog Marley, returned the stolen products and told of her heroic exploits.

Staff are now raising money for her to say thank you.

Store manager James Atherton said staff were "completely surprised" to be reunited with the stolen items.

He said: "We were amazed and just so joyful. It was fantastic. We weren't expecting to get them back at all.

'Extraordinarily brave'

"She confronted him as he walked out. She said 'I know you are not from Lush', and took the stuff back."

On their Facebook page, staff described themselves as a "family" and wrote: "We have known Lottie for years, and have always felt safer with her outside of our shop.

"She knew that the man walking out of our shop was not us, and she did the extraordinarily brave thing of challenging him.

"We are greatly moved by her selfless actions in protecting us, and want to thank her from the bottom of our hearts."

The store has since set up an online campaign to raise money for Lottie to express their thanks, raising more than £400 so far.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: "We were called to an attempted burglary at a business property at around 03.30 GMT on the 10 February 2016."

He said there were reports that goods and a laptop had been taken, which were then reportedly returned by a member of the public.

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