BERHAMPUR: A habitual ATM card thief who cheated people of lakhs of rupees was nabbed by police on Tuesday. Identified as Prabhakar Pradhan of Baliguda in Kandhamal district, he had deceived at least six persons by changing their ATM cards on the pretext of helping them.
Addressing mediapersons here on Wednesday, Berhampur SP Pinak Mishra said so far six such offences have been established against Prabhakar. One of his accomplices, Sankarsana Sahu of Berhampur, has been identified, Mishra said, adding that efforts are on to nab Sahu who is absconding. Police are also exploring the possibility of Prabhakar having other accomplices.
The 33-year-old was arrested in April last year in connection with ATM card thefts in Gosaninuagaon. As he fell ill after arrest, police admitted him to MKCG MCH from where he managed to flee from police custody. After his escape, three constables were suspended for dereliction of duty and police were on the lookout for Prabhakar.
On Tuesday, on a tip-off, police raided his rented accommodation at Prem Nagar and seized 13 ATM cards, ` 2 lakh cash and a bullet from him. His area of operation spread across the district and targets were elderly or illiterate people who are in need of help and fell easy prey to his tactics. On the pretext of helping the gullible persons to withdraw money at ATM counters, he would extract the ATM card, security password from the user and help him in withdrawing cash. After withdrawal, when the customer gets busy counting, he would tacitly change the ATM card and use the original card later to withdraw money.