‘High-flyer’ ATM thieves in Pune police net

Hindustan Times, Pune | By
Feb 28, 2020 04:24 PM IST

The gang from Haryana used to come in flights and cars and target ATMs in Pimpri-Chinchwad area with the help of local criminals, according to the police.

PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad police apprehended a gang of ATM thieves who arrived from Haryana in flights and cars and targeted ATMs in Pimpri-Chinchwad area with the help of local criminals, according to Sandeep Bishnoi, commissioner of police, Pimpri-Chinchwad.

The Haryana-based gang of ATM thieves in police custody.(HT PHOTO)
The Haryana-based gang of ATM thieves in police custody.(HT PHOTO)

The six arrested men were identified as Azaruddin Tahir Hussain, 29; Sarfuddin Haseem Khan, 22; Mohammad Shakir Hassan Mohammad, 35, all residents of Haryana; Sandeep Manik Salve, 43, a resident of Jambhe in Mulshi, Pune; Dattatray Raghunath Kokate, 42, and Gautam Kisan Jadhav, 38, both residents of Thergaon, according to the police.

The men were arrested by a team led by Wakad police station incharge senior inspector VV Muglikar and assistant inspector Harish Mane who kept a watch on the thieves in Haryana for 10 days before bringing them in.

While Hussain, Khan, Salve and Kokate were involved in the Axis bank ATM theft, Mohammad and Jadhav carried out the RBL bank ATM theft. The accused from Haryana took help of three local thieves to target local ATMs and acquire equipment for cutting ATM open.

They arrived in cars with their faces covered in masks and broke the CCTV cameras at ATMs, according to a statement by Pimpri-Chinchwad police. The thieves then used a gas cutter to cut open a side of the ATM to access the vault and steal the stored cash.

The gang came under police scanner after two ATMs in Wakad were hit — Axis bank ATM on January 27 and RBL bank ATM on February 12. The cash and the space holding the Axis bank ATM in Ganeshnagar area of Thergaon were damaged in a fire caused by the gas cutter that the gang attempted to use to steal money from the ATM. In the next attempt, they managed to steal Rs 12,84,100 from the RBL bank machine. After their arrest, the police recovered cash worth Rs 3 lakh, a Swift Dzire car registered in Haryana, an Accent car registered in Pune city and an i20 car registered in Haryana along with a Splendor Plus registered in Pimpri-Chinchwad. The police also recovered gas cylinder, gas-gun cutter, cassettes from ATMs that held cash, and 16 bank cards. The estimated worth of the recovered valuables is Rs 2,00,000, according to Bishnoi.

Of the eight cases they were found involved in, three were registered at Wakad police station, two at Sangvi police station and one each at Bhosari, Dighi and Chikhali police stations. Of the eight cases, two are from the ongoing year while four are from 2019 and two from 2018. Khan has a history of eight other cases registered in parts of Gurugram area of Haryana. One of the eight cases is from 2015, one from 2016 and six from 2019.

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