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In a sequence that sounds straight out of a movie, a group of burglars took a shop on rent near a bank in Sanpada, dug a nearly 25-foot tunnel from there to the bank over nearly four months, and eventually entered the bank, broke open lockers and fled with cash and jewellery. The Navi Mumbai police have registered an FIR in the case and formed several teams to investigate the matter. The police said there was no clarity so far on the value of the loot.
An officer linked to the probe said the incident took place at the Bank of Baroda branch at Jui Nagar in Navi Mumbai over the weekend when the bank was shut. On Monday morning, when the security guard reached the bank and pulled up the shutter, he saw a hole in the ground in the locker room and found several lockers open and articles missing. The guard then informed the bank officials who in turn contacted the Sanpada police where an FIR was registered against unidentified persons on charges of robbery.
As the Navi Mumbai police began probe in the matter, they found that the burglars had taken a shop on rent on the same lane. An officer said there were two other shops between the bank and the shop used by the accused. “The accused had taken the shop on rent nearly five months ago and used it as a grocery store. However, there were hardly any items there…mostly soaps. Their main motive was to keep an eye on the bank, the security measures in place and digging a tunnel that would reach the locker room,” said the officer.
In a statement, Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said, “The culprits dug an underground tunnel of 25 feet to the locker room of the Bank of Baroda branch and broke open 30 lockers out of the 225 and escaped with the loot. The valuation of the looted property is yet to be ascertained. Some leads are there and our teams are working on these.”
Another officer linked to the probe said majority of the lockers that were opened had gold jewellery in them. “So far, we do not have clarity on the value of the stolen articles. We are in the process of recording the statements of the people who had been allotted the lockers. Majority of them have said since they were going out of the city for Diwali, they had kept jewellery in there and had not withdrawn them yet. Once all the statements are recorded, we will get clarity on the amount that has been looted.”