BURGLARS smashed their way into a charity shop and stole a safe.
The British Heart Foundation shop, in West Street, Havant, was broken into overnight.
Volunteers and staff arrived for work for this morning to find the safe had been stolen.
The crooks also smashed up the till area.
It is estimated that damages and stolen goods could cost the BHF shop £3,000, which could have funded life-saving research.
Preston Davies, the area manager, told The News: ‘They have forced entry into the rear doors of the premises.
‘It’s running into several thousand pounds the damage this has caused.
‘We had some volunteers who turned up for work this morning and we have had to send them home.
‘We can’t trade until the police have done what they need to do.
‘They have left the goods – it’s purely money they were after.
‘Because they have broken in through the fire doors we have had to get someone in to replace them.’
He added: ‘The guys have come in this morning and they are absolutely devastated because it’s their shop and they are very proud of what they do.’
Police are investigating and appealing for witnesses.
The shop is now urgently appealing for local residents to donate by searching through their wardrobes and scour their homes for any unwanted clothing, handbags, shoes, books, DVDs, CDs and household goods.
Mr Davies added: ‘We absolutely rely on the support of the Havant community to keep us running and without their donations, we risk reducing funding for vital research into heart disease and the support we can offer heart patients.
‘If each household spent just half an hour having a clear out and donating to their local BHF shop, they would be helping to save lives, it really is as simple as that.’
The shop is taking precautions against future break-ins by no longer leaving any cash on the premises and installing security equipment.
Anyone with information about the break-in should call police on 101.