BURGLARS smashed their way into one of Boscombe's most popular restaurants to raid the till - only to discover that the premises are totally cashless.

Dirty Vegans in Christchurch Road has been cashless since it opened up in March, selling burgers, vegan alcohol and drinks and "vegan takes on classic comfort food".

Manager Ben Cooper said he and owner Aaron Bryans were shocked when they learned of the burglary which took place over the weekend.

"They kicked the back door down and disabled a security camera and then we think they smashed their way into the kitchen, trashed that and then went through to the bar area," said Ben.

He believes the raiders were 'probably addicts'. "They took the til drawer but there was less than £2 in it," he said.

In a statement on their Facebook Page, Dirty Vegans said: "We’re incredibly saddened to say that Dirty Vegans was broken into last night and the restaurant has been trashed. Being a cash-free business we thought we had little to no chance of ever being broke into, but unfortunately, that now isn't true.

"This just goes to show that some people will still break into somewhere which generally offers nothing beneficial for them. These people have no compassion, empathy or understanding of how much work goes into a small business and the huge impact this will have on us."

The break-in meant the cancellation of a planned event with Nicky Kay of Go2Nature which helps people to live more natural lives. However, her event is re-booked for December 1 and Dirty Vegans was able to re-open yesterday after a clean-up.

Ben said the break-in was 'disappointing' but said it would not put off the restaurant, which also does outside catering and will continue with a planned event at The Triangle on Saturday.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: "We received a report at 9.42am on Monday that a break-in had occurred at the Dirty Vegans restaurant in Christchurch Road, Bournemouth.

"It was reported that between 6pm on Sunday October 6 and 9am on Monday October 7 entry had been forced to the premises, damage caused inside and a till drawer containing staff tips had been stolen.

"Enquiries into the incident are ongoing. No arrests have been made at this stage."