Police are investigating after callous thieves raided a Bolton charity shop just yards from a police station, stealing cash meant for those with terminal illnesses and their families.
The shocking discovery was made when staff opened up the Bolton Hospice shop on Manchester Road, just outside the town centre, on Friday morning.
They found the counter area had been turned upside down and the door of a back office had been smashed open and the room ransacked.
It is not known how the thieves gained entry to the premises, or if they were inside the shop when it closed for the night on Thursday.
A hammer and screwdriver were found nearby.
The thieves took up to three days worth of takings, around £1,500, and CCTV equipment during the raid.
A spokesman for the shop said: "It's hard to tell whether any items of stock were also taken but we think they just came for the money."
The burglary at the site, just a few hundred yards away from Bolton police station on Scholey Street left staff feeling 'sick'.
The shop was re-opened at lunchtime and the spokesman said: "We just had to crack on and get things back to normal."
The spokesman explained that the charity's army of volunteers work tirelessly to raise funds so they can provide palliative care to those in need.
They said: "It's just soul destroying that anyone could do this, we are all just so upset, staff and customers alike.
"But since the news we've had so many messages of support and people offering to help. I'm just in awe of the response."
The Furniture Plus store sells a range of goods, including sofas, fitness equipment and electrical items.
The police are now investigating and anyone with information is asked to call them on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.