CROOKS smashed into a fast food restaurant and stole whatever cash they could grab – including a charity collection box.

The raiders broke through the door of the Subway store in the Culver Square shopping centre, Colchester, armed with a hammer.

And while they were inside ripped the cash system away and grabbed a British Heart Foundation collection box.

The store was closed when the men broke in just after 11pm on Sunday.

Franchisee Rohit Gumber said: “There were two of them and they smashed through the glass in the door with a hammer.

“They came in and pretty much took whatever they could.

“Their faces were covered but in some of the CCTV from Culver Square you can see their faces.

“They even took the charity box which was raising money for the British Heart Foundation.

“In total all they got away with was about £150.

“The problem was they got the credit card machine so for a little while we couldn’t do any card transactions for a while.”

Mr Gumber was at home when the raid happened but was alerted by his security system.

However, police did not arrive until the next morning.

He added: “I called the police because I have a sensor which alerts me if anything was wrong and I was at the store within ten minutes.

“I was told by police they would be there in 20 minutes but two hours later I was still standing there outside.”

“I had been told not to go in.

“It was not until the next morning somebody arrived, and told me to call 101 – that was the last I heard of it.”

Mr Gumber said he had now fixed the smashed door and installed a new card machine so the store was back open as usual.

“I think they just wanted to get money to get something – maybe for drugs,” he said.

“It doesn’t make sense to come in and make a grab for the charity box. Everyone knows there is going to be a maximum of £20 in there.

“You would think it was not worth the repercussions.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.