Unidentified miscreants decamped with Rs 11.91 lakh on Saturday after breaking open an unguarded automated teller machine (ATM) of Union Bank of India branch at Basti Bawa Khel locality on the busy Kapurthala road.
It’s the sixth ATM heist in the Jalandhar police commissionerate’s jurisdiction in the past nine months and in most cases cops have failed to find any major clues pertaining to gangs involved in these thefts.
Surveillance camera footage revealed that a man wearing a helmet entered the ATM kiosk at 5.35 am and smashed the camera within 15 seconds.
The miscreants then used gas-cutters to break open three cash boxes and took away the fourth box with them. Police said the miscreants had managed to disconnect the wires of the machine’s inbuilt camera.
The kiosk was unguarded. Sources said clear instructions have been given to banks that if an ATM doesn’t have a guard, then the bank should lock the kiosks at night. However, in this case, the kiosk was open, making it an easy target for the thieves.
The ATM was targeted at 5.35 am but police received the information about the crime after nearly three hours.
Senior police officials, including additional deputy commissioner of police (investigation) Vivek Sheel Soni, assistant commissioner of police (ACP investigation) Harjinder Singh, ACP west Ravinder Pal Singh Sandhu and sleuths from CIA wing inspected the crime scene. Forensic experts also collected samples from the spot.
A case has been registered against unknown persons at the Basti Bawa Khel police station.
Bank’s assistant manager Vijay Kumar said the request for deployment of guard had been sent to the higher authorities. “We are awaiting their response,” he added.
In a similar way, miscreants had looted Rs 12.10 lakh from the UCO bank ATM in Guru Gobind Singh Avenue on November 14 last year.
ASI heading ‘naka’ near crime spot suspended
The Jalandhar police have suspended assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Resham Singh, who was heading the ‘naka’ near the ATM kiosk . The naka was held from 8 pm on Friday till 8 am on Saturday. The thieves targeted the ATM around 5.30 am.
Police have also ordered an inquiry against three other cops who were with ASI during the naka. An explanation has also been sought from station house officer Basti Bawa Khel police station over the incident.