3 ATM thieves held in Mumbai; cops find 20 cards, Rs 42,000
The duo, during police questioning, confessed to stealing from at least 12 ATM kiosks of the same bank at various locations in Mumbai. Their accomplice was arrested from Ulwe on Saturday.Updated: Mar 17, 2019 04:32 IST
A gang of three automated teller machine (ATM) thieves was busted, after an alert security guard trapped two of them inside a kiosk of a bank at Sion Circle last Thursday.
The duo, during police questioning, confessed to stealing from at least 12 ATM kiosks of the same bank at various locations in Mumbai. Their accomplice was arrested from Ulwe on Saturday.
Vijay Kumar Mahipal, 26; and Arun Kumar Rakesh Kumar, 27, used a unique modus operandi, said the police, who recovered 20 debit cards and Rs 42,000 from the duo, but are yet to ascertain the overall amount of money the gang may have stolen.
Mahipal and Kumar, who are from Ludhiana, borrowed debit cards from their friends and relatives by paying them Rs 500-Rs 1,000, and transferred Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000 into the accounts of the card holders.
The duo then went to ATM kiosks and after using the cards to withdraw money, they would ‘cancel transaction’, the moment cash was dispensed. The accused would then call the customer care of the bank and lodge a complaint that their transaction had been cancelled, but money debited from their account. The bank would reimburse them the money.
“The duo had learnt the trick of how to cancel transactions after watching videos online,” said assistant police inspector Pradeep Salekar.
Their accomplice, Shantanu Shankar, 22, who also is from Ludhiana, would arrange for their stay in Mumbai, and also provided them with debit cards.
According to the police, the duo confessed to have targeted ATM kiosks in Andheri East and West, Bandra, Khar, Santacruz, Dadar, Chembur, Churchgate and CSMT.
However, the accused ran out of luck when, around a fortnight ago, the manager of a private firm, which manages the Sion Circle ATM kiosk, noticed that the cash dispensing slot of the machine was open. “He then scanned the CCTV footage of the ATM kiosk and saw the accused stealing cash,” said Salekar.
The manager then asked all security guards at the kiosk to be alert.
“On Thursday, the men came to the kiosk again. One of the guards, Deepak Shamrao Shetake, 31, recognised the duo from the CCTV footage. As soon as they went inside the kiosk, Shetake pulled down the shutter and called his manager and the police. We reached the spot and arrested the duo,” said Salekar.
Lalita Gaikwad, senior inspector, Sion police station, said a cheating case under sections 420 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and different sections of the Information Technology (IT) Act has been registered against the two accused.
First Published: Mar 17, 2019 04:32 IST