NatWest has repaid a 93-year-old war veteran £23,000 after he was conned out of his savings by callous thieves in a distraction scam. CCTV footage released by Lincolnshire Police captured the 'despicable and callous theft' as the man was tricked while withdrawing money at the St Peter's Hill branch of Natwest in Grantham.

He was distracted by one of the men, prompting him to look away from the cashpoint. Then a second crook leaned over and obtained the victim's PIN and switched his bank card. Within hours of the theft on 14 December, £23,000 was stolen from the victim's bank account. A few days later, the pensioner tried to use his card again and after realizing it was not his, contacted the police and reported the crime.

NatWest has decided to refund all of the cash stolen, less than two weeks after the incident, while detectives hunt the thieves.

A spokesman told Mail Online: "Unfortunately our customer fell victim to a callous distraction technique whilst using an ATM. We have refunded all the money to the customer and continue to do everything we can to help the police identify the criminals."

DI Simon Bromiley, who is leading the investigation, said: "What is quite clear from our inquiries so far is that these three men were very well organised in their deception and very selective about their victim. They watched the gentleman as he came into the bank and then carried out this despicable and callous theft."