Maha: Thieves 'bulldoze' ATM, flee without cash; cops on hot trail
Sangli, April 26 (IANS) A special squad of the Sangli Police is hot on the trails of a gang of thieves which used a stolen JCB to bulldoze an ATM machine, but suddenly fled without grabbing the Rs 27-lakhs stored in it, an official said here on Tuesday.
"We have managed to identify around 3-4 suspects based on the CCTV footage acquired from an adjoining petrol pump. Our dedicated team is now tracking their whereabouts in the Sangli district or neighbouring districts," Miraj Rural Police Station head Chandrakant Bedre told IANS, around 72 hours after the attempted heist.
The incident happened around midnight on April 23-24 (Saturday-Sunday) in Miraj industrial town bustling with considerable public movements at that time on the main road and market where the Axis Bank ATM is located.
Hoping to make a quick buck, the thieves stole a JCB parked near the petrol pump and bulldozed it into the ATM cabin, uprooting the machine and damaging all its power connections.
"Hearing the commotion, many locals rushed there and the thieves panicked. They abandoned the JCB there and fled without touching the case stored in the ATM, Bedre informed.
Police have also seized the JCB belonging to a villager living some 4 kms on the outskirts of Miraj and based on a complaint registered by Axis Bank are now trying to zero in on the gang of thieves.
The viral CCTV footage shows a man entering the ATM cabin, leaving suddenly, and moments later a JCB machine shattering the glass doors and then pounding the ATM machine with the giant claws of the bulldozer.
They managed to dig out the steel ATM machine, estimated to be weighing over 700 kgs and flung it at least 5-6 metres away from the cabin, where it landed with a huge sound.
As a crowd rushed there to inquire, the jittery thieves bolted, leaving behind the JCB and the ATM machine with the unstolen booty intact, said Bedre.