The Guntur police were puzzled when Rs 77 lakh was stolen from the Nadikudi branch of SBI bank in Andhra Pradesh on November 21. The thieves had taken great effort to cover their tracks â€” CCTV cameras were disconnected, no fingerprints and the chilly powder was sprinkled around to ward off sniffer dogs. However, as Dr Edmond Locard's exchange principle states, "Every contact leaves a trace". In this case, it was a piece of paper that slipped out of one of the thievesâ€™ pocket, which eventually helped the Guntur police crack the case.
Kidari Prasad (21) and Vijaya Prasad (37) from Miryalguda of Nalgonda district in Telangana did not have a previous history of crime. But both men were in deep financial crisis and chose to rob the SBI branch at Nadikudi, as it was located in a fairly remote part of town.
The Guntur police were initially unaware of how many thieves were involved in the crime, and the forensic team were also unable to recover further clues. The police had also formed special teams to investigate the case and had even reached out to the public for clues.
The Guntur police said that the two men watched videos on (FILL) to learn how to open digital bank lockers and robbed the bank on Saturday, decamping with Rs 77 lakh. They allegedly cut through the window grills using gas cutters and disconnected the CCTV cameras. The duo reportedly stole Rs 77 lakh in wads of Rs 100 notes from the bank vaults. While they hid Rs 45 lakh at a graveyard, they pocketed Rs 16 lakh each.
Speaking to the media on Saturday, Guntur Rural Superintendent of Police Vishal Gunni was tightlipped about how the case was solved but said a piece of paper with a phone number recovered from the crime scene helped solve the crime. "We are not disclosing the modus operandi of the crime and the details fo the investigation, as it could lead to others taking clue about the crime. We are surprised at the ease at which the accused had access to the inside of the bank. We have asked the bank personnel to take more safety precautions," the SP was quoted as saying to The Hindu. Both men have been sent to judicial remand.