PNB locker heist: Police conduct raids in western UP for suspects
Teams are reportedly carrying out searches at the hideouts of the suspects in Modi Nagar, Meerut and nearby districtsnoida Updated: Jun 15, 2017 23:56 IST
The Ghaziabad police has formed six teams to track down the culprits in the locker burglary at the Punjab National Bank’s Modi Nagar branch.
The loot came to the fore on the morning of June 12 when the bank reopened after the weekend break. The CCTV footage revealed that the gang entered the strongroom around 7.10pm on June 10, well before the movement sensors were activated at 9pm. The gang had made off with valuables kept in 30 lockers, the police had said.
Officers associated with the investigation said teams were carrying out searches at the hideouts of the suspects in Modi Nagar, Meerut and nearby districts.
According to the police, the ‘professional’ gang members are suspected to have parted ways after the heist and returned to their respective different districts in western UP.
There is also a high possibility that some locals were part of the heist. The police have started electronic surveillance and also activated their informers to trace the gang members.
“The searches are being conducted in different areas. It seems that the gang dispersed after the incident. We are working on some leads and the outcome of searches is yet to be ascertained,” said an officer attached to investigation.
The police have also obtained the locker operation register from the branch officials. The police said the investigators have sought the details of all locker operations that took place in the 10 days before the heist. The police suspect that the gang had inside information about the bank’s strongroom and were clued in about the movement sensor detectors and CCTV cameras installed inside the strongroom.
The police are also working on leads from several seconds of CCTV footage in which one of the burglars is seen entering the strongroom and later covering the CCTV camera with a cloth.
The gang bored a hole from the rear of the strongroom and entered the facility. They then proceeded to break open lockers and loot gold and valuables from 30 of 435 lockers at the Kapda Mill branch.
“The bank head office has also started an internal inquiry to assess the lapses as well as the functionality of the security system installed at the branch. Customers have been coming in to check their lockers and we have sent messages to those who have not come so far,” said Rajinder Sharma, deputy circle head, PNB.
“We have also provided the locker register to the police to help them with their investigation,” he said.
The branch was set up in November 1971 at the periphery of Modi tyre factory, which closed down in 1993. The branch is located adjacent to the erstwhile NH-58 .