They loot but an empty cash box

They loot but an empty cash box

Curious onlookers gathered in front of the SBI Byraveshwara Nagar branch on Saturday. DH photo

A four-man armed gang attacked two bank employees with sharp-edged weapons, snatched a cash box from one of them, and vanished into a narrow lane at Mudalapalya on Saturday morning.

But what the thugs did not realise was that the box they laid their hands on was totally empty.

The robbers, all in their mid-twenties and speaking Kannada, lay in wait near the SBI Byraveshwara Nagar branch at Mudalapalya on the Nagarbhavi Main Road in Chandra Layout locality, police said.

At around 11.55 am, a vehicle carrying cash stopped in front of the bank, and two staffers, Chandra Murthy (51), a security guard, and Krishna Murthy (45), a head messenger, carried a box containing Rs 10 lakh into the bank.

While they were returning to the vehicle, two youths pounced on them, swung weapons, snatched the cash box and ran into a nearby narrow lane where two of their associates were waiting on motorcycles. They hopped onto the bikes and sped away, police said.

A bank officer confirmed that the cash box taken by the robbers had no cash in it, as the money was (Rs 10 lakh) was deposited in the bank minutes ago.

Every day, huge amounts of money is transported from the SBI Byraveshwara Nagar branch to the Rajajinagar Industrial branch. Since Monday is also holiday, money was brought from elsewhere to this branch, police said.

Security guard Chandra has suffered deep cut injuries on both his hands and Krishna’s right hand has been badly injured. Both are said to be out of danger.

All in five minutes

According to them, two youths were carrying long plastic bags and had hidden sickles inside greens and vegetables.

The duo first attacked Chandra, who was carrying a rifle, and later made a dash for Krishna, snatched the box from him and escaped.

The entire operation was over in less than five minutes. Police said the suspects had studied the regular movement of the cash-ferrying vehicle before going for the kill.

The bank reportedly does not have a CCTV.

“There was huge cash in the vehicle. Hence the other guard and the driver were unable to move out of it. Chandra’s hand was injured. So, there was no way he could have pulled the trigger. Once Krishna’s hand started bleeding, he lost his grip on the box,” explained DCP (West) Siddaramiaha.

A sniffer dog followed the scent towards Kalyan Nagar, police said.

Some panicked shopkeepers, who witnessed the robbery bid, downed the shutters, said Rajendra, an eye-witness.

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