Thief returns money to woman at ATM upon noticing she had no more money left in her account

Footage of the highly unusual robbery has gone viral in China and in various parts of the world, with the man, now being called ‘China’s kindest thief,’ even gaining sympathy from some people

Photo: YouTube screengrab

Heyuan—Last month, a woman was robbed at knifepoint at an ATM in Heyuan, China. However the thief subsequently changed his mind about robbing her when he saw that she had no more money left in her bank account.

He was of course still arrested by the authorities for stealing.

Footage from a CCTV camera inside the ATM kiosk of ICBC Bank shows a woman withdrawing money one evening. The woman was later identified as Ms Li from Heyuan, Guangdong Province.

Ms Li had just withdrawn 2,500 yuan (around S$505), when a man dressed in a black jacket came near her at the kiosk.

She was startled and frightened, since he had a knife in his hand, and she quickly handed over her money to him.

One Chinese media outlet reports her as telling him, “As long as you don’t hurt me, I will give you the money!”

After she gave him the money, they were seen exchanging more words, with the man obviously asking to see how much money she had left in her account.

Ms Li showed the man her account on the screen of the ATM.

They exchanged a few more words, and then, the man had a complete change of heart, handing the money back to Ms Li, who stood there in a daze.

He was actually smiling when he returned the money to her, and he then left the kiosk.

More CCTV footage from the vicinity shows the man walking nonchalantly into a parking lot, checking his phone.

However, the man was still arrested by the Heyuan Police.

A Chinese news outlet wrote that the man had spent a lot of money on surgeries and he had a family to support. The police are currently conducting an investigation.

Netizens on social media in China had a field day discussing the robber’s unusual act.

One said, “He has his standards. He is an old-fashioned robber.”

Another said, “He must be the kindest robber this year.”

Other netizens also had good words for the robber, with several praising him for having a conscience when he found the woman had no money left in her account.

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