A burglar made off with a charity collection box containing a substantial amount of money in a raid on a Scalford tea shop.
The intruder smashed a window to gain entry to the Old Brickyard Tea Garden in Eastwell Road overnight on Sunday and Monday.
The collection box taken was for Hope Against Cancer and a petty cash tin was also stolen.
Business owner Anna Stasinska said: “There was a quite a lot of money in the collection cox including a number of notes - everything we collected since we opened up for the year at Easter.
“It is a bit of a blow as I know there was quite a bit in it and it’s so unfair on the charity and everyone who donated.”
Regular customers Francis and Jill Bernhardi have since replaced some of the money for the charity collection from the proceeds of the sale of their lawn mower.
A burglary was also reported around the same time at the next-door C&C Plants, where a laptop was taken after entry was gained by forcing a door.
Mrs Stasinska said: “I want to warn other small rural businesses in the Melton area to be aware that this has happened so they can be vigilant.”
Leicestershire Police said the break-ins at the neighbouring businesses were being linked by officers.
A spokesperson said: “We are investigating these burglaries and we would like to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious at the time of the break-ins, overnight on Sunday and Monday.”
Witnesses are asked to call police on 101 quoting the crime number 17000213613.