CCTV footage of three callous thieves ransacking a charity for adults with learning disabilities has been released in a bid to find the offenders.

Clad in hooded tops and wearing gloves, the men can be seen combing the Cherry Tree Nursery's shop in Northbourne in their hunt for cash.

As previously reported, charity tins and money from a cash box were stolen during the raid, which took place on Tuesday night.

The nursery is the first project of charity Sheltered Work Opportunities Project, and was set up 25 years ago to provide sheltered work rehabilitation for people with severe and enduring mental illness.

Currently, more than 200 people use the service as a "safe haven".

Assistant manager Jane Nicholls said she hopes anyone with information about the crime comes forward to speak to police.

"It was very strange watching the footage of those people going through our shop," she said.

"They look as if they're searching systematically - as if they know what they're doing."

The thieves were so confident that their crime would go undetected that they switched the shop's light on.

Forensics officers began an investigation at the shop on Wednesday, but despite the search for clues, the nursery opened as usual.

Jane said: "We just carried on as normal.

"That's how we are - people rely on us."

The amount stolen in the raid is not yet known.

However, donations given by kind-hearted Dorset residents have been lost to the burglars, who climbed over the gate and pulled down a fence before forcing open the door.

The footage shows them passing a screwdriver around to force open the cash box.

A spokesperson from Dorset Police said: "Officers are investigating a burglary at Cherry Tree Nursery, Bournemouth, which took place sometime between 9.30pm and 9.40pm on Tuesday, March 17 2015.

"It appears intruders broke into the property and took a collection tin and cash box .

"No arrests have been made."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.