CHENNAI: In yet another bank robbery, jewellery worth several crores of rupees was looted at a Bank of India branch at JN Road in Tiruvallur on Sunday night. Police sources said 32kg of gold worth over Rs 6 crore had been stolen. Only one lock of the bank was reportedly broken open, the rest having been opened with duplicate keys. For this reason police said they suspect that it may have been an inside job.
The incident came to light on Monday morning, when bank’s security guard came to open the bank and found the locks of the shutter on the ground floor already open. The bank is situated on the first floor of a two-storeyed building above a department store. A private finance company that provides property loans is on the second floor.
The locks of the grill gate on the first floor where the bank is located had been broken open but the shutter locks and the lockers inside the bank, containing pledged jewellery, had reportedly been opened with duplicate keys.As soon as news of the robbery spread, customers thronged the bank. “I had pledged 15 sovereigns of gold for `4 lakh to use the money for agricultural purposes. So far, the bank has not given us any statement. We have been waiting outside the bank for more than six hours,” says MS Venkataraman, a customer, at the bank.
Police rushed to the spot and conducted inquires. Sekar, the bank manager, filed a police complaint and eight staff have been detained for inquiry. Tiruvallur Superintendent of Police MR Sibi Chakravarthy, who visited the spot, said the lockers in the bank had not been damaged and `24 lakh in cash was untouched. He also said the bank was equipped with seven CCTV cameras and a security alarm system.
“CCTV footage from the department store and inside the bank have been collected. Special teams led by five DSPs have been formed to investigate the case,” he added.Jayaprakash, area manager of the bank, addressing media, said necessary action would be taken by the bank. “We are cooperating with the police, giving them details and we will help them further investigate the case,” he added.On March 24, miscreants stole cash and jewels worth Rs 1 crore from the Virugambakkam branch of Indian Overseas Bank. On April 23, a man tried to rob a bank in Adyar at gunpoint but was nabbed.