Rise in ATM heists: Robbers strike at will, cops at a loss

  • Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Sep 27, 2015 22:24 IST

With a spate of automated teller machine (ATM) heists in the district over the past few months, the commissionerate police, it seems, have failed to come out of their slumber as robbers are striking at will every now and then.

Even as the sudden rise in ATM thefts has sent alarm bells among residents, senior police officials are least bothered about the issue.

Not only ATM thefts, the police have also yet to make any headway in other burglaries that occurred in broad daylight.

Moreover, night patrolling is being carried out only on paper, it seems. The police claim that they are lacking in manpower, making it difficult for them to conduct regular night patrolling, since they have to manage routine affairs in police stations.

Interestingly, nobody noticed the ATM heist at Sarhali village on Saturday wherein three unidentified persons, including a girl, pulled the cash machine with the help of a pick-up van on the Jandiala-Phagwara road twice. Local residents said since it is a busy road linking Phagwara with GT Road, no patrolling is carried out in the area.

On September 15, three armed robbers had robbed a tile dealer of his Honda Amaze car (PB08 PQ 5668) near KMV Saraswati School on the busy Tanda road around 8.30pm. The police are yet to make any headway in the case.

On the same day, unidentified persons decamped with 150 gram gold ornaments, 1 kilogram silver and Rs 1 lakh from Shubhkamna Jewellers at Bikrampura locality in broad daylight.

On September 14, unidentified persons attempted to loot State Bank of India (SBI) ATM at Ghas Mandi locality near Basti Sheikh, and smashed up the machine after they failed.

On March 22, robbers targeted SBI ATM at the new vegetable market and decamped with Rs 24 lakh after opening it with the help of gas cutters.

In all these cases, police are still clueless.

Not only police failed in keeping tabs in major incidents of crime, they also failed miserably in controlling snatchings and house thefts that occurred recently in the city.

A station house officer (SHO), requesting anonymity, said most of the criminals conduct a recce of the area before committing a burglary or robbery.

Officials usually prefer to pursue cases that are raised by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders, he claimed.

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