A vile thief has stolen a charity box full of donations collected for a nine-year-old girl suffering from a rare form of cancer.
The collection, totalling around £500, was callously taken from Flame Urban Spa on Garstang Road in Preston at around 11pm on March 30.
Staff have branded the theft "sickening" and say it's a huge set-back to their efforts to cover the living costs for Amelia Brome and her family while she receives treatment in America.
Young Amelia received a shock diagnosis of Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in early January 2017 after feeling under the weather for some weeks, say her family.
And the brave little girl has already lost the sight in one of her eyes despite undergoing three rounds of chemotherapy.
Family friend and manager of the salon, Nicola Dickinson said: "This has just been horrendous. It's an absolutely disgusting thing to do.
"Amelia's mum, Cheryl, has worked here with me for 14 years and the man who took this money must be an absolute scumbag to take money from a sick child.
"I've spoken to Cheryl and she's absolutely devastated. The family have enough to be thinking about without dealing with this."
Vanessa Barr, receptionist at Flame added: "We have been absolutely sickened by this. The money was kept in a secure box and next to it was a fundraising poster for Amelia. Whoever took it must have known the money was for her.
"We think the burglar climbed in over the roof and smashed a window to get in.They left computers and other items and went straight for the cash box.
"Amelia's a wonderful little girl but obviously, she's very poorly. Without treatment she will have a very poor prognosis. This money was absolutely vital and the timing is just awful. The family are due to go out in mid-April and everyone has worked so hard to raise this money for them."
Staff at the salon are now appealing for donations to their JustGiving page and are also asking businesses to donate gifts in aid of a charity auction night they are holding at Lea Club on Blackpool Road on Good Friday. Call 01772 490 800 for tickets and more information.
A spokesman for Lancashire police said: "Officers were called to a break-in last night. It seems that an offender approached the building, smashed the window and removed cash from the premises. They then made off from the scene. Our enquiries are on-going but anyone with information regarding this incident can contact us on 101."