A burglar who held a babysitter at gunpoint in a German home was shamed into beating a hasty retreat by two children who offered him their savings, online news website The Local reported Wednesday.

The man, wearing a balaclava and armed with a gun, forced his way into the property in the municipality of Schwanewede, 88 miles southwest of Hamburg, on Monday evening.

He was holding the babysitter at gunpoint when two children under the age of seven came downstairs and offered him their pocket money.

The burglar was believed to have been so ashamed that he left the home without taking a cent.

"The children had heard what was going on from upstairs and came down with their money, all their savings," a police spokesman said.

"The robber must have realized what he was doing was awful, and simply put his gun away and left."

A hunt was underway for the suspect, who was described as being in his early twenties and thin.