A gang of seven made away with an ATM containing `24 lakh belonging to the State Bank of India in Dwarakanagar on Bagalur main road late on Monday night.
The theft was daring as the accused managed to take away the machine with the cash in just 12 minutes. Surveillance cameras at the entrance of the kiosk recorded the looting as the masked all-male gang swiftly lifted the machine, which was not fixed to the floor, loaded it into a Tata Sumo and sped away.
The police said: “The bank’s new branch was opened just two months ago. The machine was placed inside the kiosk, but not clamped.”
Neither the bank nor the ATM centre had a security guard, despite an RBI circular on the issue. “The gang must have planned the crime well in advance. Five of them entered the kiosk, while one remained in the vehicle and another kept watch,” the police said.
The five who entered the kiosk destroyed the CCTV cameras inside. However, they did not touch the cameras at the bank that recorded everything. The incident came to light a few minutes later when night patrol police came to the kiosk and found the ATM missing.
The Bagalur police station was alerted and a Hoysala was sent in search of the accused. “However, the gang had fled the scene by then,” an official said.
“The CCTV footage showed that the gang entered the kiosk at 1.24 am and managed to escape by 1.36 am. The bank manager stated in his complaint that `24 lakh was inside the machine,” he added.
Bagalur police along with two special teams are trying to trace them. Police suspect an insider may be involved in the crime.
Similar Thefts in Recent Years
May 26, 2010: Unidentified men loaded an ATM with `16 lakh into a vehicle and sped away, while two night watchmen slept in the adjacent HDFC Bank hall in Anekal.
July 13, 2010: A gang posing as security guards stole an ATM with `10 lakh from the State Bank of Patiala’s unguarded centre in Singasandra on Hosur Road.