Police chief convenes meeting following daring IOB robbery

Minutes after the daring bank robbery at Keelkattalai on Monday, the entire city police strength was mobilised and intensive vehicle checks were conducted to locate a red Maruti van.

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Following a tip-off that the robbers had escaped in a red Maruti van, police alerted all check-posts to look for vehicles with matching description. In almost all 140 police station limits, barricades were put up along vulnerable routes and teams checked vehicles at random.

“As investigators were looking for clues around the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) Branch in Keelkattalai, a man claimed that five persons who looked like north Indians abused him in Hindi while speeding away from the area. Since the man was standing on the road, the suspects probably shouted at him to give way,” a police official said. Superintendents of Police in the neighbouring Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts were also alerted to look for the escapees' vehicle. Since the robbery was reported within a few minutes, the Police Control Room lost no time in organising the vehicle check.

“We were told to stop and check ‘red Maruti vans' and detain passengers if they appeared suspicious or any cash or weapons were found. Though a few vehicles of that description were intercepted, the passengers were found to be innocent,” the official added.

Commissioner of Police J.K. Tripathy convened a meeting of senior police officials late on Monday night to review the progress made in the robbery case. A special team was formed to coordinate with the bank employees and customers (who were in the IOB branch when the robbery took place) to gather information on the identity of the suspects.

“All of them wore jeans and shirts. As they were sure that there were no surveillance cameras in the branch, the suspects wore no masks. Based on the inputs given by eye-witnesses, police will develop portraits of the suspects,” a police official, who inspected the scene of crime, said.