SRIKAKULAM: Unidentified miscreants decamped with an ATM of State Bank of India (SBI) at Etcherla on Friday night after they made a vain bid to open its chest.
What came as a shock was that the machine was taken away from the ATM centre located near the Armed Reserve (AR) police quarters. No security guard was posted at the ATM centre set up one year ago.
According to SBI officials, the ATM was replenished with Rs 20 lakh cash on July 4 and the last money withdrawal took place around 11 pm on Friday. The cash remained in the ATM at the time of the theft was put at Rs 8.6 lakh.
As the miscreants damaged the CCTV cameras in the ATM centre, Etcherla police could not arrive at a conclusion on the number of persons involved in the theft.
The police suspect that the miscreants might have taken away the ATM from the centre in a vehicle after they failed to open its chest. On seeing the ATM centre empty on Saturday morning, people alerted the police. Based on a complaint lodged by SBI branch manager Naresh, a case was registered. Srikakulam district Superintendent of Police RN Ammireddy inspected the ATM centre at Etcherla. A manhunt has been launched in Srikakulam and neighbouring Odisha to nab the accused.
According to the police, this is the second case of stealing ATM in Srikakulam. An ATM on Kotturu main road was stolen four years ago. The miscreants who failed to open its chest dumped the ATM on the village outskirts.
In August 2016, unidentified miscreants made a futile attempt to decamp with an ATM at Ponduru.