Thieves battered down the door of a florist’s shop in Dundee and were seen racing away carrying the cash register in an early hours raid.
A neighbour spotted the thugs making their escape from the Bloom store, on Strathmartine Road and raised the alarm.
Police are investigating and the shop’s owner has issued a heartfelt plea on social media asking for anyone with information to come forward.
Eyewitness Mathew Ferguson, 25, said he saw two men running out of the shop after hearing a loud bang in the early hours of Saturday.
Mr Ferguson, who lives nearby, revealed his suspicions had been roused before the incident.
He said: “About 20 minutes before it happened I saw three dodgy guys walking down the street and towards a car.
“I did think they were up to something because it looked like one of them was carrying a crowbar, but they got in the car and it went away so I went back to watching TV.
“But then I heard this loud bang and went to the window. I saw two men running from the shop and towards a car that looked the same as before. They were wearing dark clothes and hoodies so I couldn’t make them out.
“They got in the car and it drove down Strathmartine Road, in the direction of the Coldside Library roundabout.
“One of them was carrying the whole till with them. The till roll was falling out and got ruined by the rain.”
Staff at Bloom could not be reached on Sunday, but owner Jodi Gray posted a message on social media about the ordeal.
She said: “I feel absolutely sick to my stomach that someone has done this to my little business two weeks before Christmas.
“I work so hard every day to make it a success, as do the girls.
“I just feel so upset. Please be patient with me, I am absolutely heartbroken.
“I put my heart and soul into this business and I can’t believe that someone would do this. It’s beyond cruel.”
Mr Ferguson said he visited the shop later on Saturday to speak to Jodi and let her know that she had people in the community who cared about her.
He added: “She works so hard. Sometimes you can see she’s there until midnight preparing flowers.
“It’s really sad for something like this to happen. She is a lovely person.
“She said they knew exactly where the till was, so it looks like it was planned and, worryingly, they had probably been in before when it was open checking things like that out.
“Why would someone rob a florists?”
Appeal for witnesses
A police spokesman said: “Officers in Dundee are currently investigating a break-in to a premises on Strathmartine Road, which was reported around 1.15am on Saturday December 12.
“Three men in dark clothing were seen leaving the area in a car towards Dens Road.
“Anyone with information which could assist our enquiries should contact police on 101, quoting incident 0271 of December 12. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, if you wish to remain anonymous.”