An alarm that went off in the ATM kiosk as it was cut open by robbers not only helped the police prevent the robbery, but has also led to three earlier cases being cracked.
In the wee hours of Sunday, the city police control room received a call from the State Bank of India that one of their ATMs around Mysuru Road was probably being burgled. The message was soon relayed to the police on night patrol.
“We had no specific information which ATM kiosk was being burgled. So multiple Hoysala response teams went checking all SBI ATM kiosks in the larger area around Mysuru Road,” said B Ramesh, DCP (West).
One of the teams found shutters pulled down on one of the SBI ATM kiosks and the cops found fire sparks coming from inside. Alerted by this, they broke open the door to find that two men who had broken open the ATM using a gas cutter and had accessed the money inside – ₹15.04 lakh. The duo tried to attack the cops with an iron rod, but were soon overpowered and apprehended.
The arrested have been identified as Harsha Arora, 41 and Sarabjit, 40, both hailing from Punjab. “The duo pasted chewing gum on the CCTV cameras in the ATM kiosk and sprayed it with black paint to ensure their faces were not captured by the cameras. They had used a gas cutter to cut open the machine and accessed the money. They would have fled from the scene in a matter of minutes. Our team reached there in the nick of time,” Mr. Ramesh said.
The duo came to the city three months ago and claimed to have been working in a private firm, which was yet to be verified, sources said.
Their interrogation has revealed that the duo were involved in three ATM robberies, one of which was successful. “They have now confessed to have carried out the ATM robbery in Parappana Agrahara on January 2 earlier this year where ₹23.05 lakh was stolen. The duo have also attempted to rob two ATM kiosks in the city, but failed. These cases are being probed,” a senior police official said.