While trying to escape after robbing an ATM van, two men threw money on the road in a bid to get the crowd off their back. One of them, however, was nabbed by police, while the other man escaped.
According to police, the incident took place around 1.30 pm in Noida’s Sector 82. The security agency’s van was depositing cash in an ATM when the men, armed and on a motorcycle, conducted the heist and robbed almost Rs 40 lakh.
According to police, one of the men, Nanhe, a resident of Bulandshahr, was caught while trying to escape. His accomplice managed to flee in the chaos.
“A private company, Logicash, had sent a cash van from Sector 11 to deposit money at a Sector 82 ATM. The moment the cash custodian got down to initiate the process, the two criminals came in from behind, fired rounds and stole the cash. As they were fleeing, the bike rammed a vehicle and the bag of cash, with around Rs 40 lakh, fell to the ground. With help from the public, police managed to arrest Nanhe. The second accused is absconding,” said Vaibhav Krishna, Senior Superintendent of Police (Gautam Budh Nagar).
Police have so far recovered Rs 19.65 lakh. While the accused tried to scatter the money to create chaos, some of it went down a drain. Teams have been sent to locate the remaining notes, some of which may have been picked up by bystanders, an officer said. Police have recovered a .32 bore pistol, two country-made pistols of .315 bore and four rounds of ammunition from another bag.
An FIR under IPC section 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery) has been lodged. Indra Bahadur Singh, the 41-year-old guard who was stationed at the ATM, claimed he had to run to avoid the bullets.
“The two robbers came on a black motorcycle and opened fire. I ran towards the other side. As soon as they grabbed the bag of cash, they fled and rammed a car. As the cash fell all over the place, they threw some notes around and a crowd formed to pick it up. The entire road was blocked. It was chaos,” he said.
The ATM is situated at the boundary of Kendriya Vihar Colony, which houses central government employees. The robbery took place despite six colony guards stationed within 50 metres of the ATM, and a police booth merely 200 metres away.
Devendra, who runs an ironing shop across the ATM, said, “I hid behind a tree when I saw the man firing. The ordeal lasted for almost 20 minutes. It was strange to see that so many people gathered to collect the notes that had fallen. As more police personnel arrived, they dispersed.” More than eight bullets were fired, police said.
The agency responsible for transport of cash could not be reached for a comment.