HEARTLESS thieves broke into a hairdressing salon and ransacked a charity box containing money raised for sick children.

When Steph Pickford, from Bradley Fold, owner of Cutting It @ Steph’s, arrived at her Bury town centre premises on Tuesday morning she was horrified to find that the door of salon had been “battered down” by thieves on the hunt for cash.

The offenders emptied drawers and tipped equipment on to the floor of the Bolton Street business as they searched for valuables.

Despite the devastation all the offenders made off with was a charity box containing hundreds of pounds Ms Pickford had raised to donate to Alder Hey Children’s hospital in Liverpool.

She said: “When I got to the salon on Tuesday I burst into tears and I was shocked.

“I’m absolutely devastated. I have been here 35 years and never had any issues or experienced anything like this before. The thieves didn’t take any expensive things they were obviously just looking for the money.

“Luckily they didn’t wreck anything. It could have been worse. But they must have seen that it was for Alder Hey because it was written all over the box.

“It’s very difficult to get your head around someone doing something like this.

“It has made me nervous knowing somebody has been in my shop, taking from a charity. I was even scared at home on Tuesday.”

The crime is made all the more painful for Ms Pickford as Alder Hey is a cause close to heart as one of her twin boys, now aged 17, was cared for at the hospital as a young child.

Ever since she has been making regular donations and running fundraisers to support the children’s hospital.

She said: “I have been collecting for the hospital since my son was born. It’s a very important charity for me.

“They saved my son’s life so I just want to pay them back.”