A masked robber apologised as he and an accomplice raided a Lancashire club.
The men – one armed with a knife and the other carrying a stick – burst into St George’s Church Institute in Trinity Road, Chorley, shortly after midnight on Friday night as staff were locking up.
The intruders, wearing dark clothing and balaclavas, forced their way into the club and threatened staff, before stealing around £1,300 from the safe.
Det Sgt John Entwisle said the man with the stick apologised to a female member of staff, telling her: “Sorry about this – but times are hard.”
The men fled on foot and police believe they may have had a getaway car waiting nearby.
Officers said the men were last seen running in the direction of Isleworth Drive carrying a dark rucksack.
Police have appealed for anyone who saw anything suspicious to call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously.