The Kachiguda police in Hyderabad arrested five members of a gang, on charges of stealing around 80 Air Conditioners from around 41 ATM centres across the cities.
The police said that the five-member gang, which included three students, stole ACs under 23 police station limits in Hyderabad Rachakonda, worth around Rs 15 lakh. The gang had stolen the compressors of the Air Conditioning units as well.
The arrested suspects were identified as Mohammed Ahsan Rahman from Chandrayangutta, Mohammed Adil, an AC mechanic, Syed Akram, Mohammed Ismail, and Mohammed Wazeed Khan. The ACs were seized from a godown at Fateh Darwaza.
Rahman was identified as the kingpin, as the police said that he had earlier worked for a Mumbai-based company that dealt with the maintenance of ACs and CCTV cameras in ATM centres.
It was Rahman that floated the idea to the other accused, who accepted the deal, and began committing the crimes.
Speaking to Indian Express, Detective Inspector R Srinivas Reddy said, â€śThey chose ATMs without security guards and CCTVs. Two or three of them would walk in and start uninstalling the indoor and outdoor units. If anyone asked, they would say they were technicians repairing ACs. I donâ€™t think anyone asked for their identity cards.â€ť
Though they initially tried to sell the ACs on OLX, police said that they were unsuccessful.
â€śThen they went to an AC mechanicâ€™s shop at Fateh Darwaja and tried to sell him the ACs for Rs 4,000 a piece. They told the mechanic that they had a contract from banks to remove old ACs from ATMs and fit new onesâ€¦Since December 2, the gang dumped 71 ACs at his shop, and were in the process of creating a forged letter. The ACs are worth Rs 15 lakh,â€™â€™ Reddy told Express.
The police said that further investigation was ongoing.