Gang decamps with ATM in Bangalore

Gang decamps with ATM in Bangalore

Gang decamps with ATM in Bangalore

A seven-member gang on Monday decamped with a State Bank of India (SBI) automated teller machine (ATM) at Bagalur in Bangalore North taluk. The ATM was loaded with around Rs 24 lakh, said the police.

Lack of security measures and delay in appointing guards led to the incident, police said. Unlike other counters, the ATM was not fixed to the floor. The police suspected an insider’s involvement as only those  who had handled the machine would know that the ATM was detached. The exact loss was yet to be ascertained. Bank authorities claimed that the machine was loaded with Rs 25 lakh on Saturday. Customers withdrew over Rs 1 lakh on Saturday and Sunday, the police said.

City police Commissioner B G Jyothi Praksh Mirji on Tuesday put the loss at Rs 24 lakh.
The SBI commissioned the Bagalur branch at Dwarakanagar three months ago. The ATM centre was set up a month ago. However, the centre did not have guards or proper locks. Even the door was loose and anybody could walk into the centre.

A senior police officer said it was a well-planned and neatly executed operation. The gang arrived in a Tata Sumo and parked the vehicle near the centre around 1:15 am. One gang member stayed back in the vehicle, while another stood guard on Bagalur Main Road, to alert others of police patrol. Five masked people then entered the centre and smashed CCTV cameras.

“They cut the cable connected to the machine. They also snapped all wires connected to the main server. Probably, they knew that there was one more camera inside and were afraid that it might capture the act if the machine was broken. Hence, they took it away. The entire operation was over in about 10 minutes,” said the officer.

The theft occurred between 1:25 am and 1:35 am. The camera was smashed exactly at 1:24 am, the officer said. The night patrol at the Bagalur Main Road grew suspicious as they could not spot the ATM inside the centre. They immediately contacted the bank manager to confirm whether there was an ATM in the counter.

The police have registered a case based on branch manager Gururaj’s complaint.
Two special teams have been formed to arrest the suspects. “A part of their act has been captured on camera. There is some information based on the footage. Our men are analysing it and we will arrest the culprits soon,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (law & order) Kamal Panth. The bank had an agreement with a private security agency to transport cash to the centre and load the ATM.

The bank manager told the police that, according to the agreement, the security agency was responsible for loading the cash and ensuring security at the centre. The agency was also responsible for the appointment of guards. The police have sought transaction details and a copy of the agreement.

Jyothi Praksh Mirji later visited the spot. The police regretted that their guidelines to bank authorities about ATM security had been ignored.