A woman robbed at a cashpoint in China was amazed when the thief who stole her money was suddenly struck by a guilty conscience, immediately handing back the fistful of bills and running off.

In the incident captured on CCTV and broadcast on the China Global Television Network, a man armed with a knife is seen relieving the frightened customer of 2,500 yuan (£285) at a bank branch in Heyuan City in southern China.

But when the thief sees his victim's bank balance on the ATM's screen, revealing her account to be entirely empty, he is apparently struck by remorse and gives the money back with a broad smile.

He is then seen exiting the branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China empty-handed, while the customer struggles to process what has just happened.

The crook was subsequently arrested for carrying a dangerous weapon.

He has also been hailed online as a hero, a modern day Robin Hood who only steals from the rich and gives to the poor.

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