The Kandivli police are on the lookout for the 30-year-old driver of a cash-delivery van who fled with Rs78 lakh meant to be deposited in an ATM outlet on Tuesday afternoon. The police said that the accused, Arun Waghmare, abandoned the vehicle a few kilometres from the spot and decamped with the cash.
According to the police, Waghmare, along with four other employees of Writer Safeguard, a firm that takes contracts to load cash into ATMs, left in a modified Mahindra Bolero jeep from their office in Kamala Mills Compound, Lower Parel, at around 1pm.
The entourage included two armed security guards. The vehicle reached an HDFC bank ATM outlet on SV Road in Kandivli (West) to deposit some cash at around 2.30pm.
The police said three employees got off with Rs44 lakh to deposit in the machine, while the fourth, a security guard, stayed back with Waghmare. Soon after, the guard too got off the vehicle to fetch water as he was feeling thirsty.
“Waghmare, who started working for the company only 10 days ago, cashed in on the opportunity and fled with the vehicle, and Rs78 lakh. His colleagues tried to call him, but his phone was switched off, following which they alerted the police control room,” said H Pimple, senior inspector of Kandivli police station.
The guards informed the police that the vehicle had a GPS tracking system, with which it could be traced.
“We found the abandoned vehicle near Nirmala College on MG Road in Kandivli (West). It is at a distance of a few kilometers from the spot along the same road. We have booked Waghmare for robbery and are trying to trace him,” said Pimple.
The police said that after obtaining Waghmare’s address and identification details from the company, a police team was sent to his Dahisar residence, but he was not found. The police are in the process of recording the statements of the quartet that accompanied Waghmare.
“We suspect the involvement of another driver who had joined the firm at around the same time as Waghmare. We have not been able to establish contact with him yet,” said another official from the Kandivli police station.
Cops lose custody of bank theft duo
The Shivaji Park police, which is investigating the Rs. 29.22-lakh burglary at the Dadar branch of Dena Bank on September 2, received a jolt on Monday when the two accused arrested by them were sent to judicial custody by a local court. The police have not been able to extract any information from Geeta Puttan or her nephew Ritesh Waghela — they have not confessed, nor given any indication of where the stolen booty has been kept.
Deputy commissioner of police (zone 5) Dhananjay Kulkarni said, “We wanted to interrogate them further, but the court was not satisfied with the grounds.” - HTC