Town centre businesses are being put on alert after a spate of overnight burglaries.

At least six premises in Accrington have been raided over the last five days including a church, charity organisation, tanning salon, hairdressers, estate agents and cafe.

Heartless thieves have stolen several charity boxes and thousands of pounds worth of electrical and cosmetic equipment.

Police believe the burglaries could be linked with all the incidents happening at night and with windows and doors being smashed at each premises to gain entry.

Thompson & Partners estate agents on Blackburn Road was broken into between 5.30pm on February 17 and 10am on February 18 and stolen a charity box and petty cash.

The same night Jake Alexander hair salon on Blackburn Road was also burgled with hundreds of pounds worth of hair dryers and straighteners, curling tongues and styling products stolen.

Offenders targeted the Peel Street Baptist Church between 11am and midnight on February 20 and made off with DVD recorders, Wii consoles, a CD player, jars of coffee and £20 cash.

Oasis tanning salon on Blackburn Road was also broken into through a side window overnight between February 20 and 21.

The thieves disabled the alarm before making off with hundreds of pounds in cash and cosmetic creams.

Hyndburn Homewise on Blackburn Road, a charity which helps older people, was also burgled between 8.30pm on February 21 and 8am on February 22.

The offenders raided the till for around £40 in cash and stole two charity boxes.

Another charity box was also stolen from a cafe on Abbey Street between 5.30am and 7.45am on February 23.

Anthony Ford, police watch Liaison Officer, has urged businesses in Accrington to be extra vigilant.

He said: “All the offences have been committed overnight whilst the premises are closed and unattended.

“The offences appear to be desperate and crudely-committed with cash, including charity boxes, the target of the offenders.

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“Please check your own security including alarm and CCTV if you have these and ensure they are working properly.

“Remove cash from premises for the time being and hide from view or remove such things as charity boxes.

“If the till is visible from the street, leave the cash drawer open to indicate it is empty.”

Anyone with information call police on 101 quoting log number 460 of February 18 for Thompson & Partners, 394 of February 18 for Jake Alexander, 251 of February 21 for Oasis tanning, 528 of February 21 for Peel Street Baptist Church, 216 of February 22 for Hyndburn Homewise and 194 of February 23 for the Abbey Street cafe.