Five days after a gang of seven masked men pulled off a daring heist by stealing an ATM machine containing Rs 24 lakh belonging to State Bank of India, Dwarakanagar branch in Bagalur, police say they are clueless as there is no trace of the Tata Sumo that was used by the gang to carry away the machine. The gang even wore masks with an opening for only one eye to conceal their identities.
Speaking to Express, a senior officer said that over 15 people, including habitual offenders, had been questioned so far in connection with the theft. “A professional gang may be behind the incident. It is difficult to get any breakthrough on the accused so soon,” the officer said.
The officer said the CCTV cameras in the ATM and bank premises have recorded the sequence of events leading to the heist.
The footage, viewed by the police, shows that one of the men arrives first, covered with a bedsheet, and strolls near the ATM for a while before attempting to smash the CCTV at the ATM centre. He fails due to his height and retreats. Later, a taller man succeeds to destroy the camera with a long machete. These two men use gloves while breaking the cameras. Their bodies are fully covered, expect one eye to conceal their identities. However, they failed to notice other cameras installed at the entrance of the bank.
Once they disconnected all the cables attached to the machine, four other men barged in and lugged the ATM machine into the Tata Sumo, which was backed up to the the ATM kiosk, and fled.
“As the vehicle was at a distance from the bank entrance, the regitration number is not clearly visible. After collecting all possible call records in and around the area, we have learnt that the gang did not use phones before or after the theft. This ATM did not have GPS or SMS alert facilities to inform the bank officials in the event of a forceful disconnection,” the officer said.