Special teams investigating the sensational bank robbery cases in Chennai are suspecting the involvement of some youth from Bihar in the offences. On comparing the modus operandi in the two cases with a series of bank robberies reported in Mumbai in recent years, investigators found several striking similarities, police sources said on Wednesday.
In several bank robbery cases reported in and around Mumbai, police say the robbers used toy guns and chose Mondays. They targeted only nationalised banks that did not have Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) network and security guards.
Subodh Kant Singh, one of the youth arrested in connection with some robberies in mid-2011, allegedly confessed to police that he was part of a gang that looted nationalised banks.
Investment in liquor business
The accused persons invested the money in liquor business and immovable assets. “Singh, a native of Nalanda district in Bihar, told investigators that he was planning one last robbery in Chennai…we are working in coordination with the Maharashtra Police in this case. Photographs obtained from the Mumbai crime branch are being analysed,” a senior police official said.
In another development, a motorcycle reported stolen from the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) at Koyambedu here on February 19 was found abandoned near the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) bank branch where the robbery took place the next day.
This development has led to a suspicion that the suspects stole motorcycles to commit the robbery though there is also information that they were seen escaping in a van, the sources said.
Teams to Tirupati
The State Intelligence on Tuesday sent a team to Tirupati to hunt for the suspects in the Chennai bank robberies. “Tirupati is the nearest big town in a neighbouring State that can be reached in less than three hours. Since one of the accused in the IOB branch robbery spoke in Telugu, we sent a team to Tirupati to check vehicles, lodges and other crowded places,” he said adding that police teams were also working in Orissa, Bihar, Karnataka and Jharkhand.
Calls pour in
Soon after the Commissioner of Police J.K. Tripathy released the photograph of the prime suspect in the bank robbery cases, calls started pouring in to the toll-free numbers from members of public.
At least 100 calls were received by the Chennai Police till Wednesday evening from persons who gave a variety of information.
“While some claimed to have seen the suspect near restaurants and malls, others gave some specific inputs. A caller from Tirupur told police that he stayed in a lodge in Villivakkam where the suspect and four others were put up in the adjacent room. We have sent police to check that information,” a police official said.
Four persons belonging to Bihar were detained on suspicion at the Chennai Airport a couple of hours before they were to board a flight. However, they were let off after verification, he added.