Security guard plotted ATM heist with friends: police

A security guard accompanying the cash replenishment vehicle is among the three men arrested by the police for helping themselves to Rs. 19 lakh from the Canara Bank’s ATM at Nagashettyhalli in the city four days ago.

Police said Banashankari resident Raghu (34), the prime accused, was an assistant field officer at Checkmate security agency. This agency provides security and manpower for the bank’s cash-loading vehicles that top up ATMs in the city. Raghu, who was deputed on this duty on a few occasions, hatched the get-rich-quick plan to rob one of the ATMs.

Brazen heist

Police said he discussed this idea with his friends Mahesh, a casual labourer, and Sunil, a welder, and offered each of them Rs. 1 lakh for the job. The duo readily agreed, and on June 8, the three went to the ATM in Nagashettihalli as planned, broke it open with a gas cutter, and looted Rs. 19 lakh in it in a brazen daylight heist. Apparently they carted their tools in a car.

Sanjaynagar police, who began investigations, zeroed in on Raghu after investigation and interrogation led to his spilling the beans. He told the police he had selected the Nagashettyhalli ATM as he saw that the security apparatus, including the CCTV and guard, was not in place.

The vital clue

Though Raghu had executed the robbery meticulously, he unwittingly left a clue which alerted the police to the possibility of his involvement. According to the police, every ATM machine has an inbuilt camera to record any breach.

The knowledge relating to its location is usually known only to technicians and the staff replenishing the currency.

Since Raghu had visited the ATM during such trips, he had studied the mechanism in detail, disabling the connection to the camera during one of his visits 10 days ago.

The police during the course of investigations, police came to know that the camera had been disabled and concluded that it could be the job of an insider. Verification with the security agency about the staff deputed for Nagashettyhalli ATM led the police to Raghu.

Raghu, who works in a dairy, had joined Checkmate as a part-time employee. Incidentally, he had been involved in an accident that left him with a partial disability.

The have recovered Rs. 18 lakh from the suspects along with the car and equipment used to break open the ATM machine.

The three are now in judicial custody.

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