A gang of thieves, brandishing revolvers, robbed a bank in Charkop, Kandivli, on Monday morning. Police said the modus operandi was similar to the HDFC bank robbery in Borivli in August this year. This time, however, there were no CCTV cameras that could have provided clues to the robbers’ identity.
According to the police, at 9.25am three unidentified men barged into Saraswat Bank at Hindustan Naka, Kandivli (West), barely 25 minutes after the bank had opened for the day. Within 10 minutes, the trio had made off with almost Rs 20 lakh.
The security guard, who was seated near the bank entrance, saw the three enter the bank posing as customers. As soon as the men, who were wearing caps, stepped inside the bank, they covered their mouths with handkerchiefs to avoid being identified. One of men then assaulted the security guard and locked him and two customers inside the manager’s cabin. They then assaulted three bank employees and two customers, the police said.
While one robber stood near the entrance, the second kept an eye on the staff and customers. The third robber asked the cashier to put Rs 7.5 lakh in a backpack he was carrying.
One of the accused then took the manager to the strong room and stuffed Rs 12.24 lakh more into his bag. The trio then fled — two of them escaped on a motorbike, while one went on foot and may have hired public transport at some distance away, eyewitnesses said.
As soon as the trio left, the bank staff set off the burglar alarm, but it was too late by then.
Ramrao Pawar, additional commissioner of police (north region), said, “At the moment, it appears that it is the same gang that had robbed the HDFC bank in August. The modus operandi appears to be the same. One of the customers saw part of the bike’s number plate. We have seized a bike that has a number that corresponds to the number mentioned by the witness.”