Miscreants decamped with Rs 10 lakh in cash after cutting open a Punjab National Bank ATM with a gas cutter in Sherpur Khurd area in the wee hours of Wednesday.
The miscreants also sprayed something on the two CCTV cameras installed in the ATM cabin.
The Focal Point police have registered a case against unidentified miscreants. Action against bank officials is likely for disobeying police commissioner's orders regarding closing down ATMs without security guards after 8pm.
The incident came to light around 3am on Wednesday when PCR motorcycle staff came to check the ATM at 100 Futta Road of Sherpur Khurd area. They immediately sounded the police station concerned.
On checking the CCTV footage, the police saw two masked miscreants entering the ATM cabin around 2:10am with a gas cutter. The miscreants then sprayed something on the CCTV cameras, cut the ATM machine with the gas cutter and took away the cash tray after spending around 12 minutes in the ATM cabin.
According to police, the agency hired by the bank had put Rs 10 lakh in cash in the ATM around two days ago. The police are suspecting involvement of employees of the agency in the crime.
Additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) City 2 Bhupinder Singh Sidhu said the ATM had no security guard, adding that the PCR motorcycle staff had checked the ATM four times in the night. He said the police had got some clues about the miscreants and would crack the case soon.
Police had patrolled the ATM three times
ADCP Sidhu said the PCR staff had checked the ATM three times - at 12am, 12.30am and 2.00am - and found everything normal, adding that when the staff visited the cabin for the fourth time at 3am, they found the ATM cut open. The miscreants struck at the ATM at 2.10am, just 10 minutes after the PCR staff had left.
Banks disregarding orders of police commissioner
The banks have been ignoring orders of police commissioner Nirmal Singh Dhillon by not closing down ATMs that don't have security guards at night. The police commissioner on December 24 last had held a meeting with officials of all banks and asked them to appoint trained security guards at ATMs. He had also ordered the officials to not open ATMs that have no security guards after 8pm.
The city has around 800 ATMs and about half of them have no security guards. Taking cognizance of incidents of loot at ATMs in surrounding cities, the police commissioner had asked banks to take security of ATM cabins seriously.