It’s easy to steal debit cards. It’s tough to run away with an entire Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
On Sunday morning, crime fighters in Greater Noida were left stunned when a group of robbers did just that.
In a bizarrely blatant act, a group of men reportedly overpowered the lone security personnel guarding an ICICI bank ATM in Greater Noida at 3.am. on Sunday and walked away with an ATM machine.
“The incident happened at the Alpha Sector branch. The police have been informed. There was cash of around Rs 30 lakh in the ATM,” an ICICI bank spokesperson told HT.
The guard, Onkar Singh, said, “I was sitting in the ATM cabin. Around 3 a.m. a man came and asked if I knew how to withdraw cash. When I told him I didn't, he asked me if there was cash in the ATM. I told him there was cash in both machines. Then he tried to withdraw cash using some ATM card."
A fortnight ago (December 30) another guard had foiled a robbery at the same ATM and got injured in the process.
“I thought the machine was not working so he was taking a long time. Suddenly two other persons came in. They were his accomplices. They pointed a pistol at me and overpowered me,” Singh said.
“They tied me to a chair using ropes and put tape on my mouth and covered my face and eyes with a piece of cloth,” he said.
“Then I heard a dismantling sound. They had threatened to kill me if I raised my voice. When I figured they had left, I managed to free one of my hands and untie myself. I rushed to a guard at a nearby ATM who informed the police."
Kasna Station House Officer D.K. Walliyan, said, “There were two ATM machines, both were fixed to the ground with bolts. The big one was heavier. They unbolted and unearthed the smaller one, loaded it in a vehicle and decamped with it.”
“The robbers appear to be from nearby village, they were speaking the local language. Computer sketches of the robbers are being prepared.”
“After unbolting the machine they put it in a trolley, took it to a vehicle and escaped. The CCTV cameras were not working. Some cameras came in-built with the machine. We are trying to get some visuals using an external server,” said Shailender Lal, Deputy Superintendent of Police.
That some bank officials could have been involved also cannot be ruled out, Lal said.