An ATM kisko of a nationalized bank at Kilpauk in Chennai has been struck by robbers who managed to open the equipment and escape with the cash chest containing a minimum of Rs 88,000.
The incident became public when a bank customer went to withdraw money at the ATM and found the kisko broken. He thereby alerted the bank officials who in turn informed the police.
The bank manager filed a complaint at a police station in Kilpauk following which the police started its investigations. The police said that the robbers entered the ATM as customers, committed the theft and escaped. Further police said that the accused must have observed the area for a long time before carrying out the robbery.
Sources inform that the ATM is designed in manner that it cannot be broken out but at the same time the centre did not had a security guard posted, a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera or a burglar alarm installed.
Police also said that the bank's negligence in not installing a burglar alarm or a CCTV camera to alert the neighbours in any such case was unexplained. A senior bank official said, "We had, soon after the brutal murder of a security guard at an ATM centre at Kuralagam on Kamarajar Salai some time ago, instructed all banks to immediately install CCTVs and burglar alarms on the bank premises as well as at ATMs. We also told them to ensure adequate security. We will now write to the bank official who failed to adhere strictly to the instructions issued by the city police."
Police said that this is the first time burglars have managed to loot any ATM in the city. They think that in this particular case a bank staff could also be involved into the theft as the accused could have known that there was no CCTV camera, burglar alarm or guard at the centre. "We are looking into that angle. We don't want to leave any stone unturned," added the police officer.
Assistant Commissioner of police at Kilpauk, C Rajamoni said, "We have formed special teams to nab the culprits. The incident happened due to the lack of security at the bank and at the ATM in the same complex. We lifted fingerprints from the scene of crime and have sent them to the fingerprint bureau to see if they match those of any known offenders."
Police said that earlier also there been attempts to rob the ATMs in the city but none of them have succeeded.