The Goregaon police are on the lookout for two men who stole cheques from the drop-box of a nationalised bank in the suburb earlier this week, making away with an unspecified number of cheques. The theft only came to light last week when a number of the bank’s customers approached the manager of the bank’s Goregaon West branch to complain that cheques they had deposited several days ago in the drop-box, located in the ATM booth outside the bank building, were yet to be debited from their accounts. According to the police, the manager, having ascertained that the cheques had not been deposited to the accounts mentioned, stopped payment before investigating what had happened to the cheques.
“The manager then consulted with the bank’s security department, which advised him to review footage of CCTV cameras mounted in the ATM booth,” said an officer at Goregaon police station. The police said when the manager checked the footage, he found that at 1.30 pm on June 11, two unidentified men entered the ATM booth and approached the cheque drop-box. “In the footage, the men are seen using a key to open the drop-box and taking away the cheques stored in it. The manager believes the men were in possession of a duplicate key,” said the officer.
However, the bank registered a complaint with the police on June 21 after carrying out an internal inquiry of its own. The Goregaon police have charged the two unidentified men with theft. The bank is unsure how many cheques were in the drop-box when the men stole them, the police said. The only lead the police have so far is that the thieves recently encashed one of the stolen cheques.
“The thieves were looking for cheques on which they could manipulate the amounts easily. They have changed the amount on one of the cheques from Rs 12,000 to Rs 1,20,000. We are investigating that transaction,” said the official. The officer added that the police are also probing how the thieves acquired the duplicate key and whether they were employed at the bank at any time.