Thieves cut through a metal fire door and stole a 3ft safe from a charity shop.
Manager Carol Munson arrived for work at Mind in Maldon High Street to find a hole in the back door where the lock should have been.
She then discovered the safe upstairs had been pulled from the wall and removed, and a collection pot emptied.
The 3ft high safe contained £65 and keys for the shop, which only opened last November, and the collection tin is thought to have a few pounds inside.
But the cost of the damage is estimated to be £2,000.