Robber with engineering degree escapes from hospital under custody after testing Covid-19+
The robber escape from the hospital after hoodwinking two guards the police had placed at the facility hospital just over a fortnight after he was arrested.Updated: Aug 11, 2020 23:01 IST
A 28-year-old man with an engineering degree who allegedly headed a gang that looted cash from at least seven automated teller machines (ATMs) in several districts of Madhya Pradesh in the past one year, escaped from a district hospital while he was being treated for Covid-19, on late Monday night, police said on Tuesday.
Devendra Patel was arrested in Damoh district, 264 kilometres east of Bhopal, along with five of his accomplices on July 25, according to police.
He tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday after which he was being treated in Damoh district hospital when he escaped from the custody.
Superintendent of police (SP), Damoh, Hemant Chauhan said, “An engineering graduate Devendra was the mastermind of the loots. Three days ago, he was produced before the court after completion of police remand and was sent on judicial custody by the district court. Before he was lodged in the jail, he was tested for coronavirus when the report that came on Sunday suggested that he was Covid-19 patient. He was admitted in the district hospital on the same day. Two jail guards were present at the hospital to keep an eye on him but he succeeded in dodging them and escaped from the hospital.”
“Police have registered an FIR and an investigation is going on in the matter. Six teams have been formed to track down the accused,” said Chauhan.
Police have also announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for anyone who will provide information about Patel.
According to police, Patel formed his gang a year ago and started looting ATMs by blowing them up with explosives. Patel had learnt the technique of looting ATMs on the internet. The gang members used to reach the targeted ATM on two bikes with their faces covered. Two of them used to overpower the ATM guard and sprayed black paint on CCTV cameras installed in the ATM booth while two of them used to connect the detonator with a battery of the bike and the remaining two used to collect the cash. It usually took about 14 minutes for them to commit the robbery.
Police had finally tracked down the gang after months of investigation. But now, the hunt for Patel has started all over again.