Camera-shy thieves take ATM with them

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Pune:  Thieves are now tweaking their ways to beat technology. Well aware that most ATM booths are fitted with CCTV cameras, burglars lifted an 800-kg cash machine, so that its in-built cameras do not give them away. The theft took place at the ATM centre of Union Bank of India in Chikhali area near the Regional Transport Office yesterday.

A shopkeeper noticed that the machine inside the ATM cabinet was missing and immediately informed the police. The police said the thieves had first blocked the view of the camera fitted at the entrance of the ATM booth with a flex board and then decamped with the cash machine containing Rs 7.6 lakh. This happened just a day after a similar attempt-to-break-in occurred at the ATM centre on Jangali Maharaj Road. The thieves there were, however, unsuccessful.  The Dehu road police said the incident took place in the wee hours yesterday. The burglars were successful in their handiwork because the machine was not fixed properly to the floor.

No security guard

The place where the ATM booth stood was leased out to the bank just three months ago and a security guard was yet to be appointed. "The incident might have taken place between 12 pm to 5 am," said Police Inspector Somanth Jadhav. "The thieves used a flex board to obstruct the view of the camera. The disc that captures the CCTV footage is installed in the machine, which they took away."

No fingerprints

Police Inspector Jadhav said the dog squad was not able to give any clues and no fingerprints were found.

Past attempts

In October 2009, a similar case was reported in Kasarwadi where thieves fled with the ATM of Union Bank containing more than Rs 10 lakh. Another case was registered in Pimpri, where the thieves attempted to break the ATM of a private bank.

Another break-in

Thieves broke into an ATM booth of Canara Bank on J M Road sometime between Saturday and Sunday. A case has been registered at the Deccan police station. The watchman deployed at the building that housed Canara Bank was since reported missing.

The police said the thieves used several ATM cards but were unsuccessful in withdrawing money. The police are verifying the identity of the owners of the cards and also trying to find out if the cards were real. The police said the thieves tried to break the backdoor of the bank and even tried to break the ATM machine, but were unsuccessful.

Police officials said the thieves also tried to decode the key of the bank vault but were unsuccessful as the lock system was quite strong. Ravindra Joglekar, branch manager, said the attempt to theft was discovered only yesterday as the bank was shut for operations on Sunday. Sub Inspector S S Salunkhe is investigating the case.


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