The ATM centre, attached to the Canara Bank branch, has been unguarded for several months
Three burglars attempted to loot an automated teller machine (ATM) of the Canara Bank in Gomathipuram here during the small hours of Monday.
Three persons were said to have arrived in a mini-lorry at the ATM situated on 6 Main Road at Gomathipuram and tried to dismantle the machine. They removed three cameras installed inside the kiosk and damaged them before attempting to take away the cash.
However, on noticing suspicious activity inside the kiosk, a night patrol team of the Madurai district police reached the spot and found the chest broken open. Even before the police approached the ATM, the accused escaped leaving behind their vehicle.
Immediately, the police, who carried out a search operation in the locality, found two persons hiding inside a mini lorry and arrested them.
The ATM centre, attached to the bank, had no security personnel and was left unguarded for several months, said R. Siva Kumar, a resident of Gomathipuram. This is the third such incident in the last 11 months. A gang murdered the watchman of a State Bank of India ATM at Thanichiyam near Vadipatti a few months ago and attempted to loot the machine.
In another incident, a lone man robbed Rs.10.80 lakh from the Kulamangalam branch of the Corporation Bank at Mahatma Gandhi Nagar in October after threatening an employee at knifepoint.
Speaking to The Hindu, V. Balakrishnan, Superintendent of Police, said that two persons had been secured so far. “We are on the lookout for the third person, who has been identified with the help of video footage at the bank.” Two of them had criminal records, he added.
Inspector of Police (Karuppayoorani) T. Balamurugan said that they apprehended two persons a few blocks away from the ATM.
However, S. Shankar, Manager of Canara Bank, Gomathipuram branch, gave a different account of the incident. He said that the accused were caught hiding on the terrace of the bank and were taken into custody by the police. They were carrying weapons along with a sledge hammer and a screw driver, he said.
To a query on the absence of security guard, Mr. Shankar said that he had taken up the issue with the management. Steps would be taken to appoint a person soon, he added.