Killing a guard and injuring a cashier, three men on Saturday robbed a private secure-transfer van of Rs. 37 lakh here and escaped on a motorcycle.
Around noon, they were in an ambush inside the State Bank of Patiala automatic teller machine in the crowded Alhoran Gate area when cashier Anuragh Tiwari stopped over and called them out, saying he must load cash urgently. They emerged and shot gunman Randhir Singh, who standing next to the van had spotted them armed and taken aim.
Injured cashier Tiwari briefed the police. "The robbers gave us no reaction time, and killed the guard on the spot," he said, adding: "One of the assailants then trained his gun on me, while the others robbed the van. They were gone in three to four minutes, with the guard's gun."
The cash included Rs. 11 lakh for an Axis Bank ATM, as the van company serves multiple clients. The gang escaped firing in the air, and though police reacted fast to seal all exits, the turbaned and masked trio still got away, sign of a well-rehearsed heist.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Hardial Singh Mann took a squad from Patiala to the crime scene and collected mobile-phone call data from the spot, besides the surveillance-camera footage from the ATM.
"Police are now trying to prepare the robbers' sketches," he said.