In a daring robbery, unidentified persons made away with Rs.4 crore worth of gold, weighing 14-kg, from A.P. Mahesh Cooperative Urban Bank at A.S. Rao Nagar in the early hours of Friday.

The robbers sprinkled chilli powder inside the bank to prevent the police dog from sniffing out clues. Using duplicate keys, the intruders opened the shutter of the bank, situated on the first floor of Ganapathi Complex.

The strongroom was also opened with keys, and the grills to a room that contained heavy duty lockers were also found broken. The robbers broke open a locker and stole gold jewellery pledged by the bank’s customers, police sources said.

A vain bid was made to break open other lockers, but due to time constraints, they could not complete the task and decamped with the gold ornaments. The robbery was discovered when around 9.30 a.m., when the attender found the shutter locks open. He immediately informed senior bank officials, who alerted the police.

Meanwhile, the previous day’s closing balance of Rs.22 lakh was left untouched.

Police sources said the robbers took necessary precautions so as to evade the police dragnet. They disconnected power supply to the six surveillance cameras installed inside the bank before committing the crime. The handiwork of an insider is being suspected.

Police also said the bank did not have a security guard during the night and that CCTVs were also not installed outside the premises.

Cyberabad Police Commissioner C.V. Anand said cases would be booked against the bank officials for their negligence in dealing with public money.

“It is public money and it is their job to provide enough security. As there is laxity on their part, we have decided to register a case against the bank’s authorities, apart from those involved in the crime,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the bank’s general manager V.S. Sarma informed customers that all the individual lockers and cash were safe.

“Normal banking operations are being conducted without any disruption,” he said.

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