STAFF were shocked to find their charity warehouse had been raided as they arrived to open the shop.

An estimated three-figure sum has been taken from the Farleigh Clearance Warehouse in Wycke Hill Business Park.

Staff and volunteers alerted the police just after 7.30am on Monday, December 11.

The charity warehouse raises money to support people and families affected by life-limiting illnesses and bereavement in mid-Essex.

The property was left damaged after the break in and the charity said they will now have to spend charity money on repairs.

A spokesman for Farleigh Hospice said: “As some of you may already be aware, our Homeware Clearance Warehouse in Maldon was closed on Monday, December 11, and there was a police presence on site.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Staff: assistant manager Kimberly, manager Mark, volunteers Lynn and Lesley and assistant manager Sarah-JaneStaff: assistant manager Kimberly, manager Mark, volunteers Lynn and Lesley and assistant manager Sarah-Jane (Image: Farleigh Hospice)

“Early on Monday morning, our warehouse staff and volunteers were shocked and saddened to discover that the warehouse had been broken into, with items stolen and property damaged.

“This was understandably very upsetting and we would like to thank them for their resilience and support in getting the warehouse back up and running today.

“Unfortunately, we now face a large repair bill – money that should be spent on supporting our patients and their families.

“A police investigation is now in progress. If anyone has any information they feel could assist with the investigation we would please ask that they contact the police directly on 101 and quote the incident number 211.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “The victim reported arriving at the premises that morning to find entry had been forced and an amount of money taken from a safe overnight.

“It is estimated a three-figure sum of cash was stolen.

“Enquiries into this incident are ongoing, but we would ask anyone with any information or relevant footage which could aid our investigation to come forward.

“You can let us know by submitting a report on our website or by using our online Live Chat service available Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) between 10am-9pm.

“Alternatively you can call us on 101. Please quote reference number 42/218922/23.”