The culprits went about their job lighting matchsticks and cigarettes
Three well-dressed youngsters walked into a gas agency office at Ranipet in Vellore district early on Saturday and decamped with Rs. 2.12 lakh cash.
Since the office was in complete darkness, the trio lit matchsticks to grope around and finally found the money in one of the wooden drawers, which they broke open. The suspects were not aware that the office had a Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) network equipped with infrared cameras that could capture visuals clearly in the dark.
During the 26-minute heist that commenced at 1.56 a.m., the suspects are seen moving around the office casually, lighting matchsticks and also a couple of cigarettes.
Once they found the money, there was a minor tussle as one of them tried to snatch the currency wads from the other.
While two of the suspects are seen clearly, the third has a mask in a bid to conceal his identity.
Based on a complaint lodged by the Manager of the agency K. Ebinezer Dasan, the Vellore district police have launched an investigation.
Forensic experts visited the scene of crime and recorded material evidence, including fingerprints. Besides the cash, the gang took away a mobile phone.
The theft came to light when Mr. Dasan came to open the office around 8 a.m. and found the shutters partly open.
“The suspects look like college students. A special team has been formed to investigate the case. We hope to achieve a breakthrough soon,” a police official said.
On November 10, an attempt was made to break into the same office. A youth, who was trying to break the lock, seeing some people in the vicinity, abandoned the attempt and fled.