Unidentified miscreants on Monday night uprooted an unguarded automatic teller machine (ATM) at Bhilaiana village , Muktsar and took it away.
The State Bank of Patiala ATM contained Rs 5.75 lakh. The theft came to light on Tuesday morning when the locals saw the damaged ATM kiosk and informed cops. Bank manager Raj Kumar also reached the spot.
On February 16, thieves had decamped with an SBP ATM with Rs 3.41 lakh at Bariwala town here.
Police said the thieves first smeared the CCTV cameras installed outside the kiosk with black paint and broke open the shutter. They also splashed paint on surveillance cameras inside the kiosk before uprooting the nearly 450 kg ATM machine. The ATM seemed to have been loaded on a pick-up vehicle as there are some tyre marks near the kiosk.
As the ATM was unguarded, the bank staff used to close it at 6 pm daily. “We have registered a case against unidentified persons under Sections 457 (trespassing) and 380 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code ( IPC). It appears to be the handiwork of the same gang that struck at an ATM at Bariwala on February 16. We have started the probe and hope to nab the accused soon,” said Kotakbhai police station in-charge Jasvinder Singh. He denied that the thieves had used a JCB machine to uproot it.