Frustrated looters cause extensive damage
KOLLAM: A smash-and-grab attempt at an ATM of State Bank of Travancore (SBT) at Kottityam, near here, went unsuccessful.
The attempt was made soon after midnight on Sunday and went on for a couple of hours. Though the ATM could not be looted, the attempt caused extensive damage.
The police believe at least three persons were involved in the attempt and that the robbers possibly parked a vehicle in front of the ATM lounge to block the view from outside. At the time of the looting attempt, the ATM contained Rs.15.80 lakh.
The looters seem to have been aware that there was no camera installed in the lounge. When initial attempts to rip open the ATM failed, they tried to tear out the whole machine from the floor using the vehicle as a tow.
Though they managed to move the machine till the door, their plan to load the machine on to the vehicle and escape failed. Frustrated, they poured kerosene and set fire to the paper rolls inside the lounge and also damaged the electricity meter before leaving the place.
Persons in a truck that passed by later noticed the fire and informed the police. The fire was put out by personnel from the Fire and Rescue Service. Later, a special team of the police led by Kollam Deputy Superintendent of Police C.G. Suresh Kumar inspected the scene. Forensic experts also inspected the site. The Kottiyam police have registered a case and said they were able to gather some vital clues. The bank officers said that the ATM would be restored soon.