Banker catches woman pickpocket red-handed in ATM

Banker catches woman pickpocket red-handed in ATM

Suspect stole wallet in bus, drew Rs 93,500

 A 27-year-old woman picked the pocket of a bank’s assistant general manager in a BMTC bus, alighted at the next stop and withdrew Rs 93,500 using two ATM cards in 20 minutes. But the victim, showing remarkable agility, traced the woman and caught her red-handed in the ATM kiosk.

The incident unfolded on Malle Gowda Street near Bhashyam Circle, north Bengaluru, on Thursday.

Swarnalatha, an AGM at State Bank of India’s Magadi Road branch, boarded a BMTC bus near Bhashyam Circle around 9 am. Abhi alias Prafulla, a native of Tamil Nadu, boarded the same bus and got to sit next to the banker. A short while later, she lifted the wallet from Swarnalatha’s handbag. She alighted at the next stop. When she opened the wallet, she found two ATM cards and their PINs written on a piece of paper. Thinking quickly, she went to an ATM kiosk of State Bank of Hyderabad and started withdrawing cash. She drew Rs 93,500 out of the two accounts in just 20 minutes.

The unusual withdrawal of cash alarmed Swarnalatha’s husband as he received several text messages to that effect. He immediately called her up. To his bewilderment, Swarnalatha expressed ignorance about the cash withdrawal and said she was in the bus. She checked her purse and was stunned to see the wallet missing.

She immediately alighted from the bus, called the bank to block the cards and asked them to check which ATM kiosk was used to withdraw the cash. The bank staff called her back and said the withdrawal happened at a kiosk on Malle Gowda Street.

Swarnalatha then alerted the police and boarded an auto-rickshaw to reach Male Gowda Street. She managed to locate the ATM kiosk and caught the suspect red-handed. She snatched the ATM cards. Sensing something amiss, the kiosk’s security guard became alert. He pushed Abhi into the kiosk and closed the door.

Seeing the commotion, people gathered at the place. The guard then opened the door. Swarnalatha told them what had happened. The public caught Abhi and thrashed her before tying her to an electricity pole.

The Rajajinagar police arrived at the spot and arrested her. The suspect told them that she had arrived from Mysuru a few days ago and that she took to pick-pocketing as she needed money. Police said they found a voter’s identity card in her purse, which proclaimed her to be a resident of Banashankari. They checked the address and found that someone else was living there for more than 10 years now.