How a security alert from Kerala prevented Rs 6.95 crore-gold heist in Patna
An attempt to steal 38kg of gold worth Rs 6.95 crore from a branch of Manappuram Finance Ltd in Bihar’s capital Patna early on Tuesday was thwarted thanks to the use of smart technology, police have said.india Updated: Dec 07, 2016 20:37 IST
An attempt to steal 38kg of gold worth Rs 6.95 crore from a branch of Manappuram Finance Ltd in Bihar’s capital Patna early on Tuesday was thwarted thanks to the use of smart technology, police have said.
The heist at the gold-based lender’s Boring Road branch in the heart of Patna was prevented after the firm’s employees received alerts from their Kerala office.
Officials at Manappuram, which has 12 branches in Bihar, said they alerted the police but some of them refused to take any action.
Thieves had reportedly snapped the close circuit television (CCTV) camera and internet connection wires but the sensors installed at the office had already sent a message to the control room.
The advanced security surveillance system at Thrissur alerted the firm’s managing director, regional manager Vinay KK, marketing manager Usha Chandran in Guwahati and senior manager (security) Sachchidanand Pandey in Patna at around 1.54am.
Pandey said he also received a computer-generated SMS on his cellphone as soon as he got calls about the attempted burglary from his bosses in Guwahati and Kerala.
“I immediately set off on foot, as I stay close to my office. I came across a police patrol party on Boring Road, which refused to help me. As I proceeded towards my office, I found two other constables on patrolling and they accompanied me,” Pandey, a retired deputy superintendent of Bihar police, said.
The burglars, armed with gas cutters and other accessories, managed to cut the main shutter and three of the five layers of reinforced iron door of the strongroom, where the gold was kept, before police arrived.
“When we reached, I found one person running away. One of the cops tried to chase, but the thief disappeared in fog and darkness,” Pandey said.
The police suspect that five people were involved in the robbery bid. One of them has even been caught on CCTV camera.
“I am recommending suspension of the assistant sub-inspector on Boring Road who refused assistance. I am also recommending that two other constables of Budha Colony police station who were on patrolling be rewarded for their timely help,” Kotwali deputy superintendent of police, Shibli Nomani, said.
The ‘shutter gang’, with roots in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, was active in the two states in 2015. They reportedly looted around 38 cooperative banks in Araria, Darbhanga, Supaul districts of Bihar besides others in UP.
After the Centre’s demonetisation drive, gold prices have surged following a huge demand for the yellow metal, making them the prime target for heists.