The plucky grandmother who intervened in an attempted robbery at a Northampton jewellery shop earlier this week, had, in fact, been the seventh member of the gang, but had fallen out with its leader in the days leading up to the raid.
Elsie Watkins, 83, told police she had, until last Wednesday, intended to take part in the robbery, but was told that her distinctive red coat would draw too much attention from passers-by. She was then unceremoniously booted-out of the scheme.
Shunned, she formulated her own counter-plan, which she then executed with the utmost precision, intervening as the gang tried to break the windows of the store in order to get at the loot.
Watkins sprinted up the High Street like a woman possessed, before clattering her former friends with her handbag and shouting at the top of her voice:
"Stop Stephen! 'Ere, Billy, now you just pack that in! You wouldn't let me take part; now I'm going to spoil it for you, you rapscallions!"
Members of Northampton Police today praised her brave efforts, and said that Elsie was currently 'down at the station' helping them with their inquiries. One officer told us:
"She was part of the set-up, but was then thrown out at the last minute due to some logistical discrepancy. It's typical of the attitude towards the elderly in this country at the moment. Elsie's story is a shining example of the grit and determination shown by all the old dears in Britain today, and I, for one, take my helmet off to her."
Last night, several clothing chains were reporting a massive increase in sales of red coats of the style worn by Elsie, especially amongst the elderly and decrepit.