CALLOUS raiders who smashed their way into a Keighley charity shop have robbed a hospice of thousands of pounds.
The burglars forced open a safe and stole about £2,000 in cash at the Sue Ryder Manorlands premises, in Cavendish Street.
But they also trashed the office and cost the outlet, which had to close while police examined the scene and a clean-up was launched, half a day's takings.
Shop manager Jackie Burke said she was shocked at the extent of the devastation.
"They ripped out the safe and smashed the desk, drawers and cupboards – the office was just wrecked," she said.
"All the takings from Friday were stolen plus some money, raised through events, which people had brought in to us to be passed on to the hospice. Collection tins also went.
"The cost of the damage will probably run to about £5,000 and then with lost income through the closure it all mounts up.
"It's absolutely sickening because at the end of the day this is all money that goes to providing care at Manorlands.
"People who do this sort of thing have no feelings."
Mrs Burke says the shop is opening late tonight, until 9pm, in a bid to recoup some of the lost cash.
The burglars struck last Friday night.
"I got a call from the sales assistant early the following morning – which was due to be my day off – and went down there," said Mrs Burke.
"Fortunately the sales area wasn't touched; those responsible were clearly just after money.
"We couldn't open until the police had finished, but we were back in business in the afternoon and very busy."
Sue Ryder, which has occupied the present shop for just over two years after previously being based in smaller premises across the road, is now reviewing its security.
"We are going to speak to local businesses about upgrading the security and if any firm can help us with that we would be extremely grateful to hear from them," added Mrs Burke.
She can be contacted on 01535 681956.
Manorlands needs to raise at least £1.6 million in donations and voluntary income every year just to maintain its services.
Police say that three youths – two aged 16 and the other 17, all from the Bradford area – have been arrested on suspicion of burglary.
All three have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.