Two armed men attempted to rob a bank on the Bellary Road right under the nose of night beat police but fled the scene when a Hoysala patrol approached.
The hooded men barged into the ATM kiosk situated adjacent to Vijaya Bank in Bettahalasur Cross on Tuesday around 11.30 p.m. and overpowered a security guard who was sleeping.
They gagged and trussed him up and dumped him in the adjoining UPS room before breaking open the window of the ATM kiosk to gain entry into the bank.
They then tried to open the strong room with a saw but fled on spotting the Hoysala patrol approaching the bank.
All this took place even as two beat policemen from Chikkajala were relaxing on the stone bench which was just a few yards away from the bank.
The brazen attempt came to light when the Hoysala police stopped the vehicle in front of the bank and called out to the security guard, Venkataramanappa (65).
Getting no response despite repeated calls, the police went to the kiosk to find Mr. Venkataramanappa was struggling to untie himself. He claimed the duo came to the ATM pretending to draw money, but beat him and tied him up.
The Hoysala police checked the bank premises and saw that the intruders had cut the window grills of the manager’s chamber to access the strong room, which had around Rs.55 lakh in cash.
Chikkajala police said the CCTV footage was unhelpful due to its poor quality. Moreover, the thieves were wearing monkey caps.
This is a second such incident reported at the branch. In 2011, thieves got away with Rs.50 lakh by drilling a hole in the wall in its Vidyanagar premises.
The bank later shifted the branch to Bettalasuru Cross for safety. Investigations into the previous robbery is still on.