Catching his three colleagues unawares at a time when their guard was literally down, the driver of a cash van fled with Rs 1.28 crore kept in the vehicle at Trombay on Friday.
According to the police, five employees of the private agency, Logicash, which transports money to ATMs, reached the ATM kiosk of the Central Bank of India near Nutan School in Anushakti Nagar around noon.
“The driver, Amar Singh, was seated in the van, while the others, including a security guard and three loaders, went inside to deposit Rs 16 lakh into the ATM kiosk. Taking advantage of their absence, Singh fled with the van,” said Ansar Peerzade, senior inspector, Trombay police station.
“The security guard should have stayed back. Also, the guard is around 60 years old and did not have a firearm on him,” said Peerzade.
The employees raised an alarm, to no avail. They then contacted their employer.
Meanwhile, the company realised that the van, which is fitted with a GPS tracking device, was going in a direction other than its designated route. A message was then circulated on the wireless network of the police and the zone 4 of the Mumbai police was alerted.
All senior police inspectors in zone 4, which covers Bhoiwada, Kalachowkie, Matunga, RAK, Sion, Antop Hill and Wadala Truck Terminal, were informed. The chase ended at Matunga, when they found the van abandoned.
“The driver escaped a few minutes before we could reach the spot,” said a senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The police said the money was to be deposited to 20 other ATM centres across the city. Police sources said the four employees are being quizzed to ascertain if they had any role in the theft.