The Vyasarpadi police have busted a gang who allegedly stole Rs. 4.5 lakh over a period of time from a State Bank of India ATM on Stephenson Road.
One of the suspects, a former employee of a cash-loading agency hired by the bank, had access to the ATM as he knew the passcode to open the main cash locker.
According to the police, the prime suspect, R. Mahesh (27), a resident of SIDCO Colony in Villivakkam, was employed with a Chetpet-based private agency involved in loading cash into various ATMs in the city. He was terminated from work three months ago as he was suspected of having stolen money while on duty.
Following his termination, Mahesh targeted the SBI ATM on Stephenson Road. With the unique passcode to the cash locker, he started opening the locker at frequent intervals and stole cash.
The thefts came to light around 5.45 p.m. on Tuesday when Mahesh entered the ATM and downed the shutter as he had noticed the agency staff exiting the kiosk and presumed they were leaving after loading cash. However, due to frequent complaints of cash missing from the ATM, the staff had gone to purchase a keyboard in order to change the passcode for the locker, the police said.
“The staff returned to find Mahesh fiddling with the ATM and nabbed him. He was then handed over to the police. We are probing to determine if had stolen from other ATMs as well,” said deputy commissioner of police (Pulianthope) R. Sudhakar.
Mahesh, along with five of his co-workers, is suspected to have stolen a total amount of Rs. 4.5 lakh. However, during interrogation, he had claimed to have to stolen only Rs. 2.2 lakh. The police recovered Rs. 1.5 lakh.
Mahesh’s accomplices — Jayakumar (23) from Kolathur, Joel (25) from Ayanavaram, Suresh (22) and Raja (22), both from Medavakkam — have also been arrested. A hunt is on for the fifth suspect, the police said.