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Appeal for homeless woman who thwarted thieves nears £5,000

Published 14/02/2016

Lottie and her dog Marley outside Lush in Oxford (Lush Oxford/PA)
Lottie and her dog Marley outside Lush in Oxford (Lush Oxford/PA)

An appeal to help a homeless woman after she confronted a store thief and retrieved stolen goods has reached thousands of pounds.

The online appeal, set up by Lush employees after their Oxford branch was targeted, is close to £5,000 after more than 250 people donated to help Lottie and her dog Marley.

The branch thanked the public on its Facebook page and said: "We want to ensure that your donations go towards what Lottie needs, and that her actions help to spur our community into larger action for vulnerable people.

"We would love for all people moved by this story to get involved with their local community outreach projects and charities."

Staff opened the shop on Wednesday morning to discover a laptop and large box of cosmetics worth more than £1,000 had disappeared in the night.

Twenty-four hours later, Lottie - who has been sleeping outside the store for around five years - marched in with the stolen products, having successfully challenged the man who took them.

Store manager James Atherton, 26, said staff were "completely surprised" to be reunited with the items.

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

"She confronted him as he walked out. She said, 'I know you are not from Lush', and took the stuff back. This was around 4am."

Mr Atherton said he believes Lottie's dream is to own a caravan, but that she would decide how the money was spent, and any extra would go to charities helping homeless people in Oxford.

:: To donate to the appeal for Lottie visit www.gofundme.com/hnwj2dfd.

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