The machine, in Anekal, also was unguarded: police

A week after the daring State Bank of India automated teller machine (ATM) heist in Bagalur, where a gang of seven men barged into the unguarded kiosk and walked away with the ATM loaded with Rs. 24 lakh, another containing Rs. 13.3 lakh in Anekal on the city’s outskirts was carried away using a similar modus operandi.

According to the Anekal police, a group of four men, armed with rods and clubs, faces covered and wearing gloves, sneaked into the Bank of Maharashtra ATM centre adjacent to the bank’s branch at Igalur around 3 a.m., smashed the two CCTV cameras and fled with the machine. This ATM kiosk was also unguarded.

“The bank had loaded around Rs. 11 lakh cash on Saturday and it is possible the thieves would have either noticed this or were tipped off by some insiders,” the police said.

Not many clues

The police are finding it difficult to trace the culprits as whatever was captured on the CCTV camera was of little use given that the men had masked their faces. Their gloves prevented any fingerprint impressions too.

The theft came to light on Wednesday when the bank opened.

This is the fourth ATM theft reported in the city since this June.

The city police, meanwhile, have stepped up security, instructing night patrols to keep tabs on the ATMs in and around their jurisdiction.

Last Monday’s Bagalur theft followed by two incidents of attempted ones in different parts of the city two days later, has led police to suspect the same gang is at work.

These attempts were made in Vidyaranyapura and Jnanabharati police station limits. Also, a similar attempt was made in Hebbagodi a day before the Bagalur heist.

“We have issued circulars to banks to upgrade security measures to ATMs [including setting up] CCTVs and [appointing] security guards, but in vain,” Superintendent of Police (Bangalore Rural) D. Prakash told The Hindu.

Indebted man held

On Monday, a Bangalore north police patrol caught a man red-handed while he was trying to break open an ATM.

Namashivaya (38) a garment factory employee, told the police he was heavily indebted and was inspired to have a shot at it after media reports on the Bagalur heist.

He went around the city on June 20 to look out for unguarded ATM, even trying to break open one on the Jnanabharati campus but failed.

Later, he zeroed in on a Goraguntepalya ATM, went there on Monday night and blocked the CCTV camera with a chewing gum.

He was caught by the night beat police red-handed.

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