Vijayawada: Cash prize announced for tips to catch ATM robbers

Innovative methods being adopted by the offenders surprise the police personnel.

Vijayawada: With the rise in the number of robberies at ATMs, including house breakings within the city limits, Vijayawada police Commissionerate has offered cash prizes to civilians, who can help the police nab such offenders. City police commissioner Damodar Gautham Sawang said the authorities want to try the new offer in the light of the fact that officials are in possession of footage of the culprits. “We have taken this decision and invited the citizens to participate in nabbing the criminals,” Mr Sawang said.

Last month, ATM-offenders resorted to an innovative method and made away with Rs 1 lakh from two ATMs at Krambay Road at Bhavanipuram in the city. Using footage from CCTVs, police stated that there were three persons involved in breaking open the ATMs belonging to the Central Bank and the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB). The authorities were shocked to see the dexterity with which the culprits opened the machines.

The trio swiped ATM cards they had and while the machine was counting the currency to be dispensed, they cut the power supply to the machines. They then used keys they had with them to open the machines. With power supply off, the machines failed to record the ID of the cards and did not withhold the cash. The cash was freely available for the thieves to pick up.

They repeated the process and cut the power supply to the machines as they looted Rs 72,000 from the Central Bank ATM and Rs 28,000 from the IOB ATM. Neither of the ATM kiosks have security guards. The loot was discovered only the next day when the bank staff came to replenish the ATMs. They immediately alerted the police. Based on the expertise with which the machines were opened and the disruption to the power supply, police suspect that the culprits had technical knowledge about the working of the machines.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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