A SHOPKEEPER tried to detain a thief in her store after she caught him dipping his hand in the till.

Police said the owner bravely tried to prevent the thief from leaving Extreme clothing in Water Street, Accrington by running out of the store’s only exit and holding the door shut.

But the 6ft 2ins thief was able to overpower the victim, who was shouting for help, and managed to drag open the door.

The woman’s cries for help were then answered by a passer-by who ran after the thief up Water Street and along across Eastgate.

The offence took place around 1pm on Thursday.

The man entered Extreme clothing as a customer before leaning over the counter and gaining access to the till and stealing a quantity of bank notes.

Yesterday, the owner was too upset to speak.

DS Ian Procter, from Accrington CID, said “Fortunately the owner wasn’t injured in the incident but was extremely traumatised by this horrific ordeal.

“I would appeal for anyone who was in the area at the time and who witnessed the incident to come forward and contact the police.

“And if anybody has any information relating to this offence or who knows the person responsible then can they contact the police as a matter of urgency.”

The thief is described as being white and wearing scruffy clothes.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.