A BEAUTICIAN managed to fight off three distraction thieves who came into her salon and tried to take her bag containing £400 while pretending to book an appointment.

Sophia Doodey, of Makeup & Beauty Lounge (MBL), in The Hopmarket, had to physically push one of the would-be thieves away and then kick them all out singlehandedly.

The 25-year-old said she and her business partner now plan to have CCTV installed and has warned other shop owners to be on the lookout.

She said the three women backed her into a corner while she was on her break and one began rifling through her bag which contained her takings.

“I am quite fiery, I would not say I was scared, but it did freak me out,” she said. “There was three of them and I was on my own.”

One of the women came right into her face and Ms Doodey “pushed her across the room” during the incident last Friday (November 8).

At around 1pm one of the thieves, who spoke some English, came into the salon to enquire about eyelash treatments and also claimed she was pregnant and needed to use the toilet.

Ms Doodey said she claimed she had already been around all the businesses in The Hopmarket but the beautician told her she doesn’t have a toilet facility for customers.

“I could see she was with other people – she came in and was asking lots of questions but looking around the room,” she said.

“I was in the middle of doing a treatment, it’s all open so anyone can come in. But when she’d left, I said to my client: ‘That was a bit weird.’”

Ms Doodey, of Warndon Villages, shares her premises with Jord Wickham who has a separate room at the other side of the unit.

Ms Doodey’s business is called Brows By Sophia while Ms Wickham’s is MakeupByJord and they operate together under MBL and share a reception area.

About an hour and a half after the initial incident, Ms Doodey was laying on her couch with the curtain leading to the front of the salon shut.

“I heard someone come in and they were really quiet. I thought I’d go and see who they were in a second but thought they might be waiting for an appointment with Jord.

“Then I saw these little fingers come through the curtain.”

She said it was the first woman who’d come back and she asked if she could help her, to which she responded again she wanted to book an appointment.

Ms Wickham had three clients with her and had music on and later told Ms Doodey she didn’t hear any of the incident.

With the first woman asking about booking a lashes appointment the other two “just came in out of nowhere and they cornered me”.

She said she moved towards her computer and one of them women began “shouldering me, putting her weight against me to push me back”.

“One was talking to me and trying to block my view. I was like, ‘wow, get out of my personal space!’ It’s only a little room. I looked to my right and they were going through my bag.”

She pushed one away and then told them all to leave to which she said they became apologetic and claimed they were just trying to spray some of her perfume to see what it smelt like.

Ms Doodey, who has owned the salon for a year and a half, said she used to work at Debenhams in High Street and was told by security staff they have had issues with the same three women.

They are described as being in their mid to late 20s with dark hair and of Eastern European descent. Only one of them appears to speak English.

Ms Doodey said she doesn’t believe they managed to steal anything and she has reported the incident to the police.

Inspector Dave Troth, of West Mercia Police, said: “Retail staff should be aware when a group of people enter their store together and spread out to different areas as this may be an attempt at distraction.

“A key factor to reduce shoplifting and other thefts from shops such as of staff property is vigilance and this can help reduce the opportunity for retailers to be targeted by thieves. Anything unusual should be noted and reported to the management and police so that opportunities to maximise evidence can be gained.

“We will always look to take positive action against offenders whether this be through a community resolution or arrests and subsequent charges where appropriate.”