The district police have arrested two persons 13 months after a security guard at an automated teller machine was murdered by two masked robbers before a failed attempt to break open the ATM at Vadipatti near here.

“All the identification marks found on the duo as seen in the video footage matched with them and the lungis they had used to mask their faces have been recovered,” the Samayanallur Deputy Superintendent of Police, T. Kanthasorooban, said on Monday.

The accused has been identified as P. Marudhupandi alias Karthi (26), a mason of Perumalpatti in Vadipatti, and M. Arasan (27) of Avarampatti in Dindigul district.

In the wee hours of April 5, 2013, the watchman, M. Pannerselvam (50), at the State Bank ATM in Thanichayam along Madurai-Dindigul highway was found dead with his head smashed. The police found the ATM machine tampered with in a failed attempt to break the cash chest.

Later, the video footage of the CCTV at the ATM and the State Bank of India branch, revealed two masked men tip-toeing towards the ATM, attached to a State Bank of India branch, from the service road of the four-way highway at around 2.30 a.m.

After waiting for a few seconds, they smashed the head of the watchman, who was sleeping outside the ATM kiosk, killing him within seconds.

Though the police got clear video footage, the mask hid their face. Even the cash reward of Rs. 5,000, announced by the police did not serve the purpose in identifying the criminals.

However, the Vadipatti police on Sunday night picked them up in connection with wire theft cases, the Vadipatti Inspector of Police, C. Sivasankaran, said.

During interrogation, he spilled the beans and the police arrested the other fellow too. The DSP said that the duo was also involved in a house burglary in Vadipatti. "They had spent the money on wine and women," Mr. Kanthasorooban said.

The scars and unique features in their body matched with those found in the video footage, he added.

The police said the duo had broken the light outside the kiosk and then damaged the CCTV camera inside the ATM centre to escape from being identified.

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