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Updated: June 19, 2013 03:02 IST

Thieves make away with ATM itself

Staff Reporter
Comment (17)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
The State Bank of India
ATM in Dwarakanagar.
The State Bank of India ATM in Dwarakanagar.

The absence of a security guard made it so much more convenient for this gang of six to seven miscreants, which hoisted the entire machine containing an estimated Rs. 24 lakh early Tuesday.

This gang was not content with just stealing cash so it chose to take it all — even the ATM machine. Customers who came to withdraw cash from the State Bank of India (SBI) ATM in Dwarakanagar near Bagalur were left aghast when they found the 450-kg machine missing from the kiosk.

The absence of a security guard made it so much more convenient for this gang of six to seven miscreants, which hoisted the entire machine containing an estimated Rs. 24 lakh early Tuesday.

“The machine was not even fixed properly. It had been placed there like a refrigerator without any foundation so anyone could lift it and take it away,” said Bagalur police inspector Parameshwar Hegde, adding the kiosk was opened a little over a month ago.

On Saturday, Rs. 25 lakh had been loaded into it and customers had withdrawn just about Rs. 1 lakh.

A CCTV camera — before it was destroyed — captured two men, their faces covered, walking into the kiosk. Police said there was another camera installed outside, which showed they gang had come in an SUV, big enough to accommodate the ATM.

It was all over within 12 minutes — between 1.20 a.m. and 1.32 a.m.

Police said there is a camera installed in the ATM machine, which would have captured the theft but its storage drive was not connected to any external server, making the footage inaccessible.

It is assumed the gang’s brazen heist was made easy as the ATM was located in a narrow, poorly lit lane off Bellary Road. About half an hour later, a police patrol spotted the empty kiosk and reported it.

“Initially, they assumed it was sent for repair. However, they later suspected foul play and alerted us,” said the Bagalur police.


SBI officials got to know of it only Tuesday morning. The caretaking of the ATM is outsourced to a private firm, MphasiS. An MphasiS spokesperson said on Tuesday: “This is a serious incident and is being investigated by the authorities. MphasiS is providing all available information to help solve this crime.”

Sources in the firm also said that there were no compulsions to have a security guard according to the contract they had with SBI and it was also not mandated by the Reserve Bank of India.

The police intends to question the personnel concerned to explain why the security guidelines had not been followed.

Police Commissioner B.G. Jyothi Prakash Mirji visited the spot.

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Why is it always we cure the problem and not prevent it from happening. We waste all our resources in just sorting out the problem but forget to set everything right in first place. This robbery might have not taken place if the ATM machine was 'installed' properly. It is really ridiculous to that know that the camera installed in the ATM machine is not connected to any external or remote drive. Then what is it for? Another sad claim is that the security firm says that requirement of security guard near the machine is not mandated by RBI. Then what is SBI paying this firm for. We need to learn to accept & take responsibilities for our mistakes, apologise for what has happened and take remedial action to stop happening in future. We have pool of resources (people, technology etc)which can be used for developing thing to become a developed country.

from:  Kelvin
Posted on: Jun 20, 2013 at 16:10 IST

I think they want to withdraw a huge amount from their SBI debit cards, that's why they took whole ATM machine to withdraw amount safely at their home.:)

from:  Mayank
Posted on: Jun 20, 2013 at 12:11 IST

I am surprised at the ease with which the ATM Heist has taken place. This happening at the Technology Capital of India, if not Asia is what worries me. I am pretty sure that there are technologies available to fix these ATM machines with GPS enablers - which can help in tracking them. This will also act as a tool for all concerned to keep a track of their machines - if and when they are taken - like has happened in this instance.

from:  K.Govind
Posted on: Jun 20, 2013 at 11:12 IST

Inside job. New ATM, no security guard, no card access on the door and,
the ATM is not bolted down. It is left free standing. And, in a low foot
traffic area, 25 lakhs is loaded into the machine at once! All these
point to one fact: no one is this stupid! So they must have planned it.

from:  lrao
Posted on: Jun 20, 2013 at 10:51 IST

When people can steal entire coal mines and more so the spectrum and make lakhs and lakhs of crores... these are petty crimes.

They would be surprised to find only 24 Lakhs in this machine !! the Suv they used would have cost more to buy ..

from:  Murthy
Posted on: Jun 20, 2013 at 07:35 IST

I am really surprised that such things happen in a country which boasts
of highly skilled engineers. It is apparent that even a simple procedure
of continuous monitoring of the link between the ATM and the server is
not carried out.Installation of even a simple mobile phone with
automatic dialling out to a control centre would have taken care of such
situations. Alas, our engineers do not seem to do detailed engineering.

from:  Iyaswamy
Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 18:58 IST

Inspired by Sunny Deol's Hand-Pump Act from Bollywood GADAR - Ek Prem Katha...! :)

Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 17:47 IST

As in movies the police came after the incident occurred!!.

from:  Venkatesan
Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 15:23 IST

Remember some time back a container containing currencies sent to a branch of Reserve Bank from Nasik security press disappeared ?

Incredible India !

from:  Cherian Mani
Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 15:00 IST

Everybody here is playing a blame game and not concerned about the

from:  Murali
Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 12:27 IST

Nothing to worry! RBI has to right to print more money, no one faces loss. Any wrong doing like scams and theft RBI can compensate. No one can control government and RBI. They control our money.

from:  Rajan
Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 12:17 IST

This is such an utter negligience on part of people who commissioned the ATM. All major guidelines to install and deploy an ATM seem to be violated here. Even the folks who loaded the cash seemed to have not exercised the grey cells in their brain. The ATM has many modules to secure itself but in India most banks remove them to reduce the cost. Example: the moment an ATM is tampered it starts relaying videos of people around using a dedicated channel, the ATM can spray invisible indelible ink to people around and can smear the same on all notes during like this. There is enough battery power inside the ATM to do all this. If these features are enabled the thieves would find exactly zero rupee worth of usable currency inside.

from:  Manoj Patra
Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 11:25 IST

I am amazed that ATM makers would not put a tracking device on these expensive machines. I bet it would cost only a few thousand rupees to put a GPS tracker on these, which would thwart these kind of thefts.

from:  Mahesh
Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 10:56 IST

A challenging incident indeed to Police and Banks. Beware, this is not going to be the last incident in India where system works with least efficiency and punishment is simple. What is required is not Chowkidars but automation. There must be a 24X7 system to monitor all these transactions. As mentioned time and again, location of ATM is very important.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 10:55 IST

Very simple solution to avoid further thefts. Put sensor alarm that
makes loud noise just like in electronic stores when a demo phone is
disconnected or stolen from display area. Also put concrete pillars
around kiosk so big trucks cannot just haul away ATM. MphasiS is
negligent for not bolting ATM to foundation floor... maybe inside job.

from:  Narain Das
Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 10:53 IST

If there was a security guard, the miscreants would have killed the security guard as well. What will a security guard do with a lathi or a antic gun? Real solution is having self destruction capabilities that burns the blows box or burns the cash when someone tries to break it without having the code.

from:  Krishnan V R
Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 09:24 IST

Only this thing is remaining to do.Now we have to think more faster than
such miscreant,in order to stop such activity in future.

from:  Aman shrivastava
Posted on: Jun 19, 2013 at 09:08 IST
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