A HOSPICE charity shop was ransacked by thieves during a late night raid.

Staff at Bolton Hospice’s Furniture Plus store, in Scholey Street, opened up this morning to find someone had broken into the building and smashed open the door of the back office in search of cash.

A spokesman for the hospice said £1,500 of cash had been taken by the thieves, who are thought to have hidden until the shop closed and then escaped through a back exit.

Volunteers said the incident was “soul destroying” but that were determined to get back to work and managed to reopen the shop at around noon.

The hospice spokesman said: “We can’t believe it. We work tirelessly, we work so hard because we know that it’s a non-profit business.

“The volunteers do so much to help and someone just takes it like that, it’s soul destroying.

“These people have taken funds away from the people of Bolton who need it the most.”

The Bolton News:

Staff do not think any items for sale in the shop were stolen, although it is difficult to tell because products are often quickly sold after they are donated and put on display.

“It would be impossible to tell but it doesn’t look like they’ve taken any items,” the spokesman said.

“It just seems like they have come for the money. We’re determined to get back to normality as soon as possible.

“Volunteers are here now and they’re all working to get things sorted and set up again. We hope to be open today.”

He added: “Anyone who saw anything suspicious, especially around Manchester Road, please get in contact with the police.”

The Bolton News:

Police were called to the store at around 9am, and crime scene investigation officers later attended to search for anything which could identify the thieves.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting incident number 546 of 24/05/19, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Donations to the hospice can be made in shops or anyone with items which can be picked up can get in touch on 01204 663055.