Yet another ATM robbery in Jorhat, miscreants decamp with entire machine
From a Correspondent
JORHAT, April 30: In yet another daring early morning robbery and in an open challenge to the police and the public, a gang of eight miscreants broke into a State Bank of India ATM situated in the Tarun Ram Phookon Road of Jorhat on Saturday and decamped with the entire machine by loading it in a Mahindra SUV despite knowing the fact that this act was being captured by an overhead close circuit camera placed in the SBI branch office adjacent to the ATM. The loot has created sensation in the district and pressure is mounting on the police to act quickly and b the culprits.
As per report available with The Sentinel based upon the acquired CCTV footage, the gang came in two different vehicles, one in a SUV and another in a Maruti Zen Estillo and entered the ATM one by one at around 4:05 am and removed the machine from the concrete ground.
Thereafter they separated the panel containing the keypad and the touch screen and loaded the lower chamber which contained the vault. And the entire incident happened right before the eyes of the bank security guard posted in the first floor and he immediately informed the Jorhat police control room at around 4:20 am. But before the police arrived at the spot at 4:30 am, the gang made their escape at 4:26 am as recorded in the overhead CCTV camera.
Talking to The Sentinel, private security guard Himanshu Dutta said, “My duty is to guard the SBI bank and not for the ATM and I remain upstairs in the first floor while on duty the whole night starting from 8 pm to 8 am. At around 4:10 am I heard noises and looked through the window and saw a golden colour Tata Sumo vehicle and another Zen Estillo parked near the road. More than 7 to 8 people were breaking open the ATM. They looked steady and calm while executing the robbery. I did not shout nor did I come down but first tried calling the police from my mobile phone but could not reach them. Then I used our office landline and filly maged to contact the police. But before the police arrived at the spot, the gang had already fled. People might be suspicious of me and my action but I abstained from confronting them as I was alone and I feared for my life.”
However, it has been learnt that the police has already registered a Jorhat PS case no 826/16 U/S 457 & 380 IPC and has detained the private guard for further interrogation after the version of the private guard who mentioned the lead vehicle carrying the vault to be a Tata Sumo failed to satisfy the investigating officer and other motor vehicle experts. Additiolly, it was already day break and the two vehicles were parked at not more than 15 meters from the window of the bank’s first floor but the guard’s failure to note the registration numbers of any one of the vehicles has also led the police to suspect of guard Himanshu Dutta’s overall role.
Meanwhile, a top SBI bank officials on condition of anonymity informed that SIS Prosegur, a CRA (Cash Replacement Agency) under FIS Payment Solutions and Services Private Limited (Main Vendor) had filled the ATM with Rs 5 lakh on April 29 and on the day of the incident the amount looted was Rs 12,74,200 lakh.
Other sources have disclosed that though the police were successful in obtaining footage from the overhead CCTV but the view of the CCTV inside the ATM was blocked by pasting a black tape at 8 pm on April 29. This has led the police to believe in the theory of possible insiders of the entire banking process starting from SBI to FIS and SIS Prosegur who had knowledge of both the ATM refill as well as the plan to block the view of the inner surveillance camera.
Miscreants had earlier on two occasions in the year 2015, first on thenight of October 29, looted Rs 1.62 crore from a SIS Prosegur vehicle at Teok Boloma road. Most of the looted money was later recovered by Jorhat Police. In the second incident on November 3, miscreants uprooted the Allahabad bank ATM from the Dhekorgorha area of Jorhat and decamped with vault that contained Rs 46,400. Later a part of the cash was recovered and the miscreants were arrested from Guwahati. It will be interesting to see when and how soon the Jorhat police can actually crack this case.