THRISSUR: Pazhayannur police on Monday nabbed two persons for an ATM heist bid at Kondazhy which got foiled because of the alertness of a nearby resident. The ATM had around Rs 15 lakh at the time.
Prajith, 25, and Rahul, 23, from Palakkad were arrested, based on the inputs from the forensic report and the statement of an autorickshaw driver whose help they had sought to get their car that got stuck in a drainage channel out as they were fleeing.
As per the police, the accused ran way from the spot after they learnt that nearby residents had been alerted about their attempt to break open the SBI ATM. The suspects first took an autorickshaw to Wadakkanchery railway station and then took a train to Koratty. They were nabbed by the police when they reached Thrissur.
Prajith and Rahul were running a hotel business at Ottapalam which ran into losses. The duo became bankrupt which forced them to plan the robbery. The duo had made a similar ATM theft attempt in Ottapalam in October, which failed as they used only manual tools to cut open the machine. After this, they bought a gas cutter and other equipment from Coimbatore and selected the SBI ATM at Kondazhy because of its remote location where night traffic was less. Prajith and Rahul had borrowed the car from one of their friends for the crime, but the vehicle got stuck in a drainage channel in their hurry to escape from the spot.
It was the timely intervention by a nearby resident of the ATM that foiled the duo’s heist attempt. When Sugunesh got up in the early hours of Monday, he was surprised to see a light inside the ATM booth opposite his house. After ensuring that it was a theft attempt, Sugunesh called the ward member.
“I received a call from Sugunesh around 2.30 am saying that two people wearing helmets were inside the ATM and trying to break open it using a gas cutter. Soon, I called the police and rushed to the spot after informing the building’s owner, Prakash, who stays behind the ATM,” said CR Viswanathan, ward member and president of Pazhayannur panchayat.
“Prakash switched on the lights inside and outside his house which alerted the robbers. They stopped the robbery attempt and got inside the car. By the time we reached the spot, the robbers had run away after abandoning their car which got stuck in a small drainage channel,” said Viswanathan.