THIEVES stole charity tins when two florists in the same street were broken into.
AppleBlossom, in Mautland Street, just off Newbottle Street, in Houghton, was targeted as the burglars got through an adjoining flat.
They snatched collections tins for Marie Curie Cancer Care, Heroes that Matter and animal charity PDSA.
AppleBlossom owner Claire Johnson said the damage would leave her hundreds of pounds worse off.
She said: “I’ve got to try and get someone out to seal the flat and block this hole off.
“They smashed my till so I haven’t even got one of those.
“I’m grateful that they haven’t smashed the flowers.
“They are obviously just looking for petty cash but they must have spent hours to do this and get in.”
Ms Johnson thinks that children could have been forced into breaking into the shop as the gap which was made by the burglars is too small for an normal-sized adult to fit through.
“Maybe it’s people who have got kids involved and I wonder if they are scoping the area for the people who did this.
“I’ve chased some kids recently who’ve been on the roof.”
Flowers by Brenda, which sits across from AppleBlossom, was also raided.
Burglars took cash and damaged flowers which had been arranged for funerals and weddings, also costing the business hundreds of pounds.
Both incidents happened late on Thursday or in the early hours of Friday.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “Overnight, two burglaries took place at neighbouring businesses in Mautland Terrace, in Houghton.
“One business reported having cash stolen and the other having a laptop stolen. Inquiries are ongoing.”
People with information should call Northumbria Police on 101, extension 69191.
Alternatively, called the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.