Vikash Sharma

Balasore Police on Monday claimed a major breakthrough by arresting a criminal gang involved in the alleged theft of cash from two Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Balasore’s Khaira and Soro areas recently.

Five criminals, who hail from different areas of Haryana, have been arrested from Bhubaneswar while one more accused is still absconding, informed Balasore SP, Sagarika Nath.

The Balasore SP informed that the miscreants had looted Rs 6 lakh – Rs 10 lakh from a Punjab National Bank (PNB) ATM at Mangalpur and Rs 5 lakh from an Axis Bank ATM at Tudigadia market in Khaira on the intervening night of January 11-12.

Also Read: Cash worth over Rs 20 lakh looted from 2 ATMs in Balasore in a night

At least six miscreants had looted the cash by cutting open the vending machine with the help of gas cutters. They even bombed the kiosk while robbing it, it was alleged.

The Balasore SP informed that after committing the crime, the miscreants escaped after brandishing pistol to the security personnel at various check points which were activated after the ATM loots. Mayurbhanj Police was also alerted and as a police team was chasing the robbers, they had to abandon the car midway.

From CCTV footage and pieces of evidence from the car, police started an investigation by constituting special teams, the SP said.

“The entire criminal gang belongs to Haryana. Some of them are expert cutters. They used to travel by air, train, and road. They used to conduct recee a day before striking the target ATM. The gang is involved in similar ATM thefts in Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. The car that was abandoned appears to be a stolen one from Delhi bearing the registration number of Jharkhand,” the SP added.

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