Staff tips made up for workers on furlough were stolen during a raid on a seaside hotel.
The Ship Inn in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, was targeted during the early hours of Saturday morning.
As well as a four-figure sum of money, a number of items were also taken.
Owner Simon Cruickshank said he was “sickened” by the theft.
Posting on Facebook, he said: “This has totally sickened me – we’ve only been shut for a week and somebody’s broken in – and yesterday Trouper’s Bar front doors were vandalised with spray paint – also Molly’s and the Market Bar.
“Let’s all be vigilant and look out for each other – we’re all suffering enough already with this terrible virus and the effect it’s having on our businesses without scum like this making matters worse.”
Mr Cruickshank later stated that the money stolen was for staff and branded the theft “despicable”.
He added: “They had been made up for giving out to the staff who are all on furlough so on already reduced wages.
“My staff all work hard and deserve their tips and some worthless piece of scum who doesn’t deserve anything except contempt has stolen them.
“Please be vigilant – if someone you know, or know of, has suddenly and inexplicably come into money please inform me or the police.
“We’re all suffering enough already – we could be closed for months – so this break-in, vandalism and theft is a totally despicable act and the perpetrator needs to be brought to justice.”
Enquiries into the forced break-in are ongoing and officers are urging anyone with information to step forward.
Constable Ashley Stewart said: “I am appealing to anyone who was in the area at the time and heard or saw any suspicious activity to contact police as soon as possible.
“Although the property was secure, I would like to take the opportunity to remind business owners to review their security whilst premises are closed and ensure all windows and doors are locked at all times.”
If you have any information, call 101.