STAFF have spoken of their shock and frustration following a spate of tip jar thefts at businesses in Bury town centre.

Two stores at Mill Gate Shopping Centre fell victim to thieves. Bake & Take in The Rock Shopping Centre, and Cup 'O' Rosie, in The Rock, were also targeted.

CCTV footage of three women stealing the tip jar from Quick Crepes by shielding it with a menu was shared on social media.

Employee Anna Stewart, aged 38, said: "We are really shocked. You would never have thought these three women would have done this.

"They covered our tips jar with a menu. They were pointing to the fridge to try and distract the member of staff who was serving them.

"We have seen posts on Facebook about women doing this kind of thing in Bolton but it is a first for us.

"It is our Christmas tips. It is our little bonus for when we go out on our works night out."

The tip jar had been emptied that morning so it is thought there was about £20 in the container when it was taken at about 2.30pm.

Staff reported the theft to police on Thursday, November 22.

That same day, thieves also stole a container filled with money that customers had left as a thank you to staff at Bake & Take in The Rock.

Member of staff Adam Duhirati said: "It is very upsetting and very frustrating.

"That money is for the staff, and is shared between us at the end of the week."

Between £20 and £30 was taken from Bake & Take, who said they had informed centre managers at The Rock.

Mr Duhirati said: "The member of staff on duty said someone had stolen the money and run out of the shop. We will have to be more vigilant about this sort of thing in future, particularly if it is happening elsewhere."

The children's clothes shop Minoti, based at Mill Gate, also had their RSPCA charity box stolen.

Mill Gate centre manager, Marie Gribben said: “We are saddened to hear of the recent thefts. Mill Gate and our retailers work closely with numerous local charities, so we know just how essential these donations are in funding their good work.

"Our shoppers will be disappointed to hear what has happened but I’m sure they will continue to give generously to support our charities in the future.”