A SHOP assistant has been praised after foiling an attempt to steal cash from an Accrington off-licence.
Kelly Marie, 22, was at work in Booze Busters, Burnley Road, last Saturday afternoon when the drama unfolded.
Kelly, who lives with her partner Ste Garside and 15-month-old daughter, Chantelle, has been working at the store for 12 months and said that during that time she had never had to deal with a theft before.
She told how she was dealing with a group of customers, who she believes were trying to distract her, when she heard a noise in the room behind the counter and discovered a man in the back of the shop.
Kelly said: "A group of three people came in and were asking me about spirits. I was going through it all with them.
"In the meantime a man had sneaked into the back. I heard a noise and went into the room in the back and he was in there. He said he was looking at the crates of beer.
"I told him to get out and he swore at me, so I picked up the phone and started to dial 999 and they all ran out of the door and up the street."
Kelly said that she had not given her personal safety a thought at the time of the incident.
She added: "I wasn't scared at the time but I was afterwards when I thought about it. At the end of the day he could have had a knife. Anything could have happened."
Kelly would like to thank her manager and area manager for their support and would also like to thank regular customers who came in to to check on her after the theft.
This week a spokesman for Booze Busters, said: "We are pleased and grateful the robbery was stopped. But, staff should always put themselves first. We don't encourage staff to put themselves in danger by actively tackling this kind of incident.
"The store has excellent security systems in place including CCTV. Our footage has been handed to police and we are co-operating fully with them in their inquiries.''