Using gas-cutters, a gang of thieves on Saturday morning broke into an ATM of UCO Bank’s women branch at Guru Gobind Singh Avenue locality in Jalandhar and decamped with Rs 12.10 lakh.
The branch is located in the market of the locality which houses hundreds of houses. A police post is also situated nearby.
A CCTV footage shows a man wearing a helmet and a track suit changing the direction of the camera with the help of wooden stick at 8.03 am. As per records, there is a transaction of Rs 3,000 at 8.10 am.
However, there is no CCTV footage of the theft as miscreants had put a black tape on the camera installed inside the kiosk. Further, the thieves also took away the CPU of the machine along with four cash trays.
The incident came to light around 10 am when Sunil Kumar, a representative of a private agency that is managing the ATM, received a call from its Mumbai-based headquarters that the machine was not functioning due to a technical snag. As soon as Sunil arrived at the spot, he was shocked to see that it had been looted.
Soon, police was informed and additional deputy commissioner of police IJ Elanchezhian, assistant commissioner of police (ACP crime) Harjinder Singh, inspector Palwinder Singh and others rushed to the spot.
Police said there was no guard posted outside the booth and the thieves, who appear to be members fo a professional gang, haven’t left any ‘major’ forensic proof behind.
They used gas-cutters to rip open the machine and fled with the cash in minutes, said police. It seems the gang has performed a recce of the area before targeting the particular ATM. The heist is very similar to the theft at the SBI ATM in Maqsudan area of the city on March 22, said police.
Bank’s DGM Ramesh Kumar Sharma said it’s for the first time that the ATM of the UCO Bank has been targeted in the region. There are 62 ATMs in the Jalandhar circle, he added.
Sharma said most ATMs were outsourced and managed by the private company on its own.
The Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur belt has turned into a happy hunting ground for ATM robbers. In most ATM theft cases reported here this year, cops have failed to make any headway. No night security guards at most ATMs are only compounding the problems for police.
Major cases this year
Oct 6: Thieves strike at SBI ATM at Jandiala town, 22 km from Jalandhar, and decamp with Rs 9.98 lakh.
Sept 26: Three unidentified robbers, including a girl, uproot Punjab National Bank’s ATM containing Rs 4.46 lakh at Sarhali village
July 7: Miscreants strike at an unguarded PNB ATM at Kang Sabhu village near Lambra on Jalandhar-Nakodar road; Rs 2 lakh looted
March 22: Robbers target SBI ATM in Maqsudan area, loot Rs 24 lakh.
From October 2012, 19 ATM heists have been reported in Hoshiarpur so far.