Gone in 4 minutes: 5 men rob ₹13 lakh from unguarded PNB branch in Mullanpur Dakha
The robbers entered the branch around 4pm on the pretext of opening a savings account. At the time, five bank employees were present in the bank. According to bank staff, two of the robbers flashed guns, while one held out a sharp-edged weapon.
Five armed robbers struck at Punjab National Bank (PNB)’s branch in Detwal village of Mullanpur Dakha on Thursday evening and fled with ₹13 lakh cash within four minutes. The incident came as a major embarrassment to the police department, which had carried out a flag march in the area hours before the incident, ahead of Independence Day.
The robbers faced no resistance as the bank had no security guard.
After the incident, senior superintendent of police (SSP, Ludhiana Rural) Harjeet Singh and other senior cops reached the spot and initiated a probe. The SSP said the robbers were captured on closed-circuit television cameras while escaping.
The robbers entered the branch around 4pm on the pretext of opening a savings account. At the time, five bank employees were present in the bank. However, there was no customer there.
According to bank staff, two of the robbers flashed guns, while one held out a sharp-edged weapon. They allegedly walked into the cashier’s cabin and forced him to hand over the cash.
The accused also took the staffers’ mobile phones so that they could inform the police. While fleeing, the accused threw the mobile phones outside the branch. Soon after the accused left the spot, the bank staff informed the police.
The SSP added that the robbers fled on two bikes, which they had parked near the branch. He added that they have already got some clues and are working to nab the accused.
The cop added that it appears that the accused were well-versed with the layout of the bank, as they walked straight into the cashier’s office and knew exactly where the cash was kept.
No security guard for the past two years
The bank has had no security guard for the past two years. According to bank officials, as it is a rural branch and cash transaction is less here, no guard has been deputed here. The bank’s security officer, Ashish Kumar said as they came to know about the incident, they rushed to the spot. He added that the robbers had not hurt any of the staff.
Rural banks on criminals’ radar
July 16: A gang of burglars attempted to steal cash from Kalakh Branch village of UCO Bank but fled after the failed to break open the safe. This bank too had no security guard or a theft alarm.
February 1: A gang of burglars targeted Ludhiana Central Co-operative bank in Panjgaraian village of Machhiwara. The burglars tried to cut open the safe installed in the strongroom of the bank but failed.