THIEVES broke into a pub and stole three charity cash boxes in a late-night raid.

Almost £800 was stolen from The Foresters Arms in Todmorden Road, during the early hours of Monday morning.

And bosses say thieves often take advantage of fundraisers because they are “easy targets”.

Landlord Ian Brown, 33, and his girlfriend Donna Hayes,33, woke up to find the front entrance to the pub ’smashed open’ and money boxes had been snatched from the bar.

He said: “I came downstairs to find the charity boxes had been taken, including the takings from a beer and hamper raffle, that was also for charity.

"I can’t believe anyone would do this. I didn’t hear a thing, and they were extremely quiet, I just wish we’d have woke up”

Collections for Great Ormond Street children’s hospital, the Poppy Appeal and Pendleside Hospice were targeted.

Christina Cope, fundraising manager at Pendleside Hospice said:”There have been a number of incidents where money has been stolen from the hospice.

“But, we can’t let these heartless thieves dominate the amount of support we regularly receive from fundraisers in our community.

"We will issue Mr Brown with another charity box if he wishes to start collecting again.”

Mr Brown says CCTV has now been installed at his pub for future safety.

He added: “I would like to raise money again, and will feel much more secure now we have cameras around.”

Police say they have been targeting the area in a bid to find those responsible.

Sgt Phil Carter said: “Nobody has been arrested and we are appealing for witnesses.

"Hopefully this case will touch a few consciences and we can find the thieves.”