Police arrested two persons on the charge of looting money from an ATM. The incident took place at Roy Bahadur Road, Behala on Monday night.
The accused, Shibshankar Rajbhar and his associate were caught red-handed by the patrolling cops.
“We were really concerned about the sharp increase in ATM looting incidents. We laid a trap in several places in the city. We asked the security guards of some ATMs to monitor the activities of the users sharply. They gave us some tip-offs. We have arrested these two on the basis of the information,” said an investigating officer.
“The man was trying to cut into the machine with an iron-cutting machine while we caught him there. His aide, a taxi driver, Pappu Haldar, was waiting outside to take him away. Both them were arrested,” a police source at Lalbazar added.
A police patrol van noticed the door of the ATM open and the broken machine inside. The accused had broken open the upper portion of the ATM to reach the vault where the money is stored. In a bid to hide his identity, he broke the CCTV camera first, the source added further.
Meanwhile, several ATMs of the state remained shut, as they had no cash to dispense. The few that were operational had only 2000-rupee notes. The few that operated had moderate queues outside as only 2000-rupee notes were available.
“I checked six ATMs, but none had any cash. This is the seventh ATM I am visiting since the morning and all I have got here is a 2000-rupee note, which I will find difficult to spend,” said Charls Mahato, a Behala resident.
Since the ATM had dispensed all cash by that time, the gang could not loot any money. This ATM at Behala was filled up just an hour before the incident took place.
It should be recalled that a gang of robbers on Sunday, broke open an SBI ATM in Behala’s Banamali Naskar Road , looting around Rs 11,800 kept in the vault - part of which were in crisp Rs 500 denomination notes.
According to the police, they entered the unmanned ATM of SBI sometime between 1 am and 3 am. In a bid to hide their identity, they broke the CCTV camera first. Then they broke open the upper portion of the ATM to reach the vault where the money is stored.
Though the CCTV camera has been broken, policeare hopeful of retrieving the initial footage to identify
It should also be recalled, in another incident on Saturday night, robbers broke into a Central Bank ATM near Bhabani Cinema in South Kolkata. Since the ATM had dispensed all cash by that time, the gang could not loot any money.