Third ATM heist in two months

Third ATM heist in two months

Robbing made easy

Third ATM heist in two months

An ATM that was looted in Anekal on May 26 this year. File photo

Three weeks after the Anekal break-in, an entire ATM belonging to the State Bank of India was taken away and Rs 14,51,200 contained in the machine was looted in Udupi.

Exactly a month after the Udupi incident, a gang has struck again. This time, a State Bank of Patiala ATM, in Singhsandra on Hosur Road under Parappana Agrahara police station, was its target. According to a complaint filed by the branch manager on Tuesday, the ATM, containing about Rs 10 lakh in cash, was carried away.

Police sources now wonder whether it is the same gang that carried out the Singhsandra heist. Despite a string of ATM thefts, the police have no clues on any suspects. All they have are sketchy details of the modus operandi the ATM thieves adopted each time they struck.

“The Singhsandra theft could be the work of the same gang that took away the ATM in Anekal, but we can never be sure because we have hardly any clues to work with,” an officer said, adding that a police team would be sent to Anekal to consult investigators there on possible suspects.

The police, who suspect the theft took place on Monday night, said there were two machines in one cabin and the bank had not employed the services of any security guard, although a CCTV had been installed. The machines are not fixed to the floor and can be carried away by able-bodied men.

Investigation into the Singhsandra case suggests the robbers tried to damage the CCTV camera whose footage the police are trying to retrieve to zero-in on the faces of the thieves.

The three incidents have stirred the City police into advising all banks across the City, especially those in the south-east division to take adequate security measures, including posting armed guard outside ATM cubicles. “Police officers have strongly advised the managers of various banks to install anti-theft alarms along with tamper-proof CCTV cameras,” South-East Division deputy commissioner B N S Reddy said.