POLICE are hunting for a heartless thief who stole a Barnsley Hospital Charity collection from its coffee shop, leaving volunteers 'devastated'.

The thief stole the collection in the early hours of Monday, June 20, after forcing his way in to the shop, which is based in the hospital main outpatients department,

The thief damaged the shutter and made off with a collection tin full of donations intended for the Barnsley Hospital Charity.

The thief also tried to break in to the shop's till, but was unable to open it.

Mike Lees, Head of Resilience and Security at Barnsley Hospital, said: “We have launched a thorough investigation in to the break in with the help of South Yorkshire Police. The scene has been examined by police forensics and with good CCTV footage it should lead us to the perpetrator."

Diane Wake, Chief Executive at Barnsley Hospital, said: “We were extremely disappointed to hear about the burglary, our coffee shop staff work very hard to provide this excellent service and in addition they are avid supporters of Barnsley Hospital Charity.

"The volunteers in the coffee shop regularly organise their own fundraising initiatives and put a lot of effort in to collecting donations. We are saddened that someone would take this money that was intended for our charity.”

Anyone with further information should contact the hospital’s security team on 01226 730000.