3 men held for June 17 PNB branch robbery in Mohali
Mohali police on Sunday managed to crack the Punjab National Bank (PNB) robbery case of June 17 in Phase-3A with the arrest of three men with previous crime records and believed to be drug addicts. Of the ₹4.79 lakh that was looted, ₹3 lakh was also recovered from the men who had carried out the crime at the all-women’s branch with an air rifle and knife.
Addressing the media on Sunday, senior superintendent of police, Mohali, Kuldeep Singh Chahal, identified the men as Sandeep Khurmi alias Sunny from Mehtapur in Jalandhar, Sonu from Sector 45 and Ravi Kothari, from Hisar, currently living in Manimajra, Chandigarh. All men were around 28 years old.
On June 17, Khurmi and Sonu went inside the bank during lunch hours at 1.43pm while Kothari stood guard outside. Wearing face masks and gloves, it took them just two minutes to execute the crime and flee by 1.45 pm.
Skoda car recovered
“ We have also recovered a Skoda (CH-03T-3190) used in the crime and a knife. Both Sandeep and Sonu were released from Ambala jail in March this year due to Covid-19 and ran out of money. Ravi had done a reconnaissance of various spots in the city and discovered that this particular branch did not have a security guard,” Chahal said.
CCTV footage gathered from the area and clues gathered about the vehicle used by the men gave police important leads that led to the arrests
The team that cracked the case included superintendent of police (SP - investigations) Harmandeep Singh Hans; deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Gursher Singh Sandhu; inspector Rajesh Arora, incharge, Crime Investigation Agency ( CIA) and station house officer (SHO) of Mataur, Rajeev Kumar, the SSP added.
Khurmi was involved in around 20 cases under the Arms Act, robbery, snatching and murder in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. Sonu had four cases of snatching and looting registered against him while Kothari had been named in three cases of snatching, looting and Arms Act.
All three had cleared Class 10, Chahal added.
To be produced in court today
Speaking on the occasion, DSP Sandhu said after robbing the PNB branch the three men went in different directions and burnt their clothes to avoid identification. “We arrested them from Mohali and all three will be produced in court on Monday. After the remand, we hope to solve more robbery cases against them,” he added.
Five women employees were present in the bank when the crime was committed. While one of the men pointed a gun and knife at the cashier and asked her to hand over the money, the other ordered the rest of the employees to stand at their positions and not raise an alarm.
A case had been registered under Section 392 (robbery) of the Indian Penal Code besides the Arms Act at the Mataur police station.