The presence of mind of a 55-year-old woman helped the police to not just thwart an attempt to rob an ATM but also to nab the thief in the outskirts of Chennai in the early hours of Friday.
According to reports, K Sumathi lives opposite to an ATM kiosk in Kollumedu in Avadi. At around 2.30 am on Friday morning, she spotted a man standing suspiciously outside the ATM. A few minutes later she saw the man entering the ATM kiosk and trying to open the machine using a screwdriver. Sumathi reportedly alerted her son, who along with a few others rushed down the road and shut the door of the ATM and downed its shutters, thereby trapping the thief inside the vestibule.
The Avadi Tank Factory police was immediately alerted, who rushed to the spot and nabbed the criminal. The policemen identified the robber as Theerthamalai from Villupuram and remanded him to judicial custody.
Chennai Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan rewarded Sumathi for her timely alert which helped prevent an ATM robbery in the area.
In August, another ATM robbery attempt was thwarted after the thieves panicked as the burglary alarm installed within the ATM vestibule went off. The incident happened in Washermanpet. According to the police, the gang of thieves first noticed the inverter batteries as they entered the vestibule and took them. After this, they tried opening the ATM machine during which they had accidentally set of the burglary alarm. The gang panicked and fled from the scene with the inverter batteries. The police were alerted from Mumbai, where the CCTV footage from the ATM was being live streamed and monitored.
In July, the Chennai police arrested two men for having stolen nearly Rs 1 lakh from various ATMs on Kamarajar Salai near Ezhilagam. The culprits had used a matchstick to disable the keypad of the ATM machine. Customers who came in to withdraw money were accompanied by the men and asked to try transacting with another kiosk after they try keying in their PIN into the disabled machine. After the customer moves, the duo keyed in the PIN and withdrew money.