Police are carrying out enquiries after thieves targeted Newington Fish Bar and stole two donation pots for the RNLI.
Three people broke into the chippy during the early hours of Friday (March 11), damaging the door and frame and swiping the RNLI pots which are thought to have contained around £150.
CCTV images of the trio have been shared to social media and it is understood possible names have been passed to the police.
Co-owner Nigel Derrett, who has run the business with brother Ken since 1980, said: “We found it upsetting enough being broken in to, but for these three to steal the lifeboat charity boxes which were both full has really caused the most upset to the staff.
“They obviously don’t realise lifeboat volunteers and put their lives on the line to help other people. How could anybody steal money that is donated to help people?
“These three should do some form of penance at a lifeboat station to help those they have hurt the most, perhaps they might actually learn something.”
Nigel says a call from Kent Police has informed him the break-in may be linked to several others where small businesses in Thanet have been targeted with cash stolen.
Nigel says he is sickened at the theft where one of the culprits, believed to be teenagers, ripped the pots from the counter.
A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called at 1.25am on Friday 11 March to a report of a burglary at a business premises on Newington Road, Ramsgate, in which charity collection tins were stolen.
“Officers attended and carried out a thorough search of the local area. No arrests were made and enquiries into the incident are ongoing.”
Since the break-in an anonymous benefactor has donated £100 for the RNLI saying the crews had saved her husband’s life.
Last month Newington Fish Bar gave away some 1,500 free children’s meals in a bid to help lower income families feeling the squeeze.
The takeaway gave away free sausage and chips for all children during the half term and also frequently fund raises for various causes.