₹5.32 lakh gutted in botched ATM robbery in Ludhiana
An ATM opposite the Verka Milk Plant on Ferozepur Road was set aflame and the ₹5.32 lakh cash within it was gutted in a botched burglary attempt in the early hours of Tuesday.
Punjab and Sind Bank ATM security guard Sunil Kumar was the first to notice flames erupting from the kiosk later in the morning. Bank manager Amar Kumar sounded the alert and registered a complaint against the unidentified accused.
The closed-circuit television (CCTV) in the kiosk was rendered defunct after a masked man with a blue cloth wrapped over his head sprayed the camera lens with black paint.Cops recovered a gas cutter, gas cylinder and a key from the spot.
As per the data retrieved from the CCTV, the burglars had struck at 4.20am. Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Davinder Kumar, who is investigating the case, said the accused broke open the kiosk’s shutter and cut open the glass door to reach the ATM.
“The accused tried to cut open the machine using a gas cutter but fled when the ATM caught flames. Apart from the machine and cash, the air conditioner installed within the cabin was also gutted,” the ASI said, adding that he suspected that at least two people had been involved in the loot bid.
The police is scanning CCTVs installed on nearby establishments to find leads. A case was registered under Sections 457 (trespassing), 380 (theft in dwelling house), 427 (mischief causing damage), 511 (attempt to commit an offence), 34 (act done by several persons) of the Indian Penal Code against unidentified accused.
The stringent night curfew between 10pm and 5am has done little to deter burglars. In a similar incident, three masked men had looted ₹26.37 lakh after cutting open an HDFC ATM in Lall Kalan village of Samrala on December 2. The case remains unsolved.