Two alert policemen in Bengaluru foiled an attempted heist at an ATM in Kottigepalya in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Harish (35), was in the process of unscrewing the ATM machine at an Axis Bank outlet near Kottigepalya bus stand, when police constable Beliyappa and Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Rajanna spotted the man.
The accused is a welder from Uttar Pradesh who came to Bengaluru 10 years ago.
The police duo was patrolling the area as usual in their vehicle. They assumed that the man in the ATM was filling cash and went past. “We were passing by the Axis Bank ATM in our Hoysala, when Rajanna noticed someone in the ATM who seemed to be carrying out some work. We thought it was someone who had come to fill cash,” said Beliyappa, a police constable at Kamakshipalya police station.
After travelling 20-30 metres, the policemen decided to turn their car around since there was no vehicle parked outside the ATM. “We noticed that there was no company (cash-filling) vehicle parked outside the ATM. We had gone just 20-30 metres ahead and we turned the car around. We went to the ATM and saw that a man had unscrewed the ATM machine,” said Beliyappa.
In the ensuing altercation and physical struggle, the two policemen managed to overpower the culprit and handed him over to police officials at Kamakshipalya police station. “He was trying to open up the machine to steal the cash,” added Beliyappa.
The accused is a resident of Kamakshipalya and has been taken into custody.
Police officials said that all officers have been instructed to keep an eye on ATMs while patrolling the city.
According to the Indian Banks Association (IBA), there have been 34 incidents of theft involving ATMs reported in Bengaluru Rural and Urban districts since 2014, involving a total amount of Rs 113 lakhs.
Guidelines laid down by the IBA stipulate that banks should ensure attendants or electronic surveillance at ATMs round the clock. However, in many cases, ATMs are found to be without a security guard or an electronic security system.