Robbery attempt at Muthoot branch indicates a pattern

Robbery attempt at Muthoot branch indicates a pattern

Sudhakar N, 59, the branch manager of Muthoot Finance Private in Mariyappanapalya, was shot at and wounded, when he resisted a robbery attempt.

He is being treated at Unity Lifeline Hospital and his condition is said to be stable. A special team of sleuths from Bangalore Police is investigating the case.

Sudhakar’s wife, Kavita told Deccan Herald  that her husband was shot at when he tried to overpower the thugs.

“One man pointed a pistol at his throat and demanded valuables. But Sudhakar pressed the alarm. When the robbers panicked and began to withdraw, it became apparent that the gun was fake. When Sudhakar attempted to catch the men, however, the robbers whipped out a second gun and that was real,” she said.

Although a surgery has been scheduled, doctors declared Sudhakar was out of danger.

Bangalore Police are currently searching for clues which could help them link the robbery with two earlier heists at Chemmanur Jewellers last year. The Bidadi police, under whose jurisdiction Monday’s  incident falls, maintained till late on Monday that the three suspects were still at large.

The police expressed concern that robberies at financial institutions and jewellery stores were on the rise. Inspector Ravi Kumar of the Yeshwantpur police station told Deccan Herald, “There were two successful attacks on Chemmanur Jewellers last year and both remain unsolved.”

During a robbery which occurred on December 7, 2011, two men wearing helmets, jackets and gloves, entered the Jalahalli branch of Chemmanur Jewellers. They overpowered the security guard, assaulted the cashier and another salesman.

They used pepper spray to terrify the customers, before fleeing with gold ornaments. The entire operation had lasted a little over a minute.

Police feel that such companies are becoming favourable targets as the price of gold is on a steady rise. During Monday’s robbery, the cost of 10 gram of standard gold was Rs 20,435, while a gram of ornamental gold was priced at Rs 2,815.

Compared with banks, companies like Muthoot hold more gold at their branches. Added to this is the fact that they are less protected than banks — which makes them easy targets, police said.

They said the Muthoot Finance robbery was not as well planned as the heist at Chemmanur Jewellers last year.

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