After two were cut open in Hoshiarpur a few days ago, the ATMs of Punjab National Bank (PNB) were again the burglars' target on Sunday. In a similar fashion in Sultanpur Lodhi tehsil, `18 lakh disappeared from two vaults in the cold wee hours.
The twin-strike modus operandi was seen even in Hoshiarpur, where `23 lakh was gone in the heist of December 18. In Sultanpur Lodhi, the thieves have taken away `9.76 lakh from Dadwindi village and `8.52 lakh from Talwandi Choudhriya. Again, they had covered their faces, blinded the cabin cameras with spray, and opened the automated teller machines (ATMs) with gas cutters.
At both places, the booths were unguarded and customers noticed the theft first. "The signature is of the gang that looted the Hoshiarpur chests," said Sultanpur Lodhi deputy superintendent of police Davinder Singh. "The PNB ATMs are target, as the bank has similar security system at each place. First they opened the vault at Talwandi Choudhariya with gas cutter and then moved to Dadwindi, about 20 kilometres away," he added, confirming that police had registered a case.
1. Masked burgalars entered the cabin at Talwandi Choudhariya
2. Blinded the cabin cameras with spray
3. Opened the ATMs with gas cutters, took away `8.52 lakh
4. Moved on to Dadwindi village and, in a similar way, looted `9.76 lakh from another ATM