PUDUCHERRY: Police on Saturday arrested four youth allegedly involved in the bid to rob ATMs and a bank while their associate, apprehending imminent arrest, surrendered to the police.
Police say the five were involved in unsuccessful attempts at three more ATMs, the last one being at an ATM on Thirukkanur Salai, a few days ago.
Senior Superintendent of Police (Law and Order) Omvir Singh Bishnoi told reporters on Sunday that Moorthy (23), his brother Lakshmanan (20), both residents of Villupuram, Silambarasan (22) of Nettapakkam, Eli alias Velmurugan of Rengareddipalayam were arrested in connection with the cases. Another accused Manigandan alias Aiyappan (24) of Ramareddikualam had surrendered.
The SSP said a special team was formed under the SP Deivasigamony after the theft at an Indian Bank ATM in December last. He said the arrests were made during a vehicle-check on Saturday, when the team consisting of SI Nandhakumar questioned three members of the gang - Moorthy, Lakshmanan and Silambarasan who were riding a bike. It was found that the two-wheeler was stolen. The trio were taken to a police station and interrogated, following which the theft of ATM cash and the attempt on a bank came to light.
The gang, led by Manigandan, used a key and password to open the money storage locker of the ATM, which was not guarded by security personnel, and decamped with `10,62,800 stored in the ATM at Madukkarai in late December.
Silambarasan, who is a diploma-holder in Computer Science, played a key role. The gang, which included Moorthy, then split the spoils and each one took a share of nearly `3.5 lakh, the SSP added.
The gang with their heads covered with mufflers attempted to steal cash kept in Pudduvai Bharathiar Gram Bank at Nettapakkam here in February this year. They gained entry into the bank by cutting open the grills on a window. As they tried to open the locker, the burglar alarm went off, alerting a beat police constable. On seeing the policeman, the gang fled. The locker had ` 30 crore in cash on the day the attempt was made.
The thieves again tried to rob cash from another ATM in Villupuram also. The last unsuccessful attempt was at the ATM on Thirukkanur Salai.