In a daring and yet a very filmy heist, thieves entered a bank through a two-feet hole drilled by them in the wall of a strongroom and broke into 30 lockers fleeing away with what could be valuables worth crores of rupees, The Times of India has reported. The incident happened sometime over the weekend in Punjab National Bank’s Modinagar Branch. The robbery came to light on Monday morning when the head cashier and a bank staff opened the strongroom through a steel door.
The bank which is located on NH-58 is close to an abandoned rubber factory. The strongroom of the bank shared a common wall with an empty office located on this L-shaped plot. The burglars used this room to enter the bank. They drilled a hole through the nine-inch thick common wall at a height just above where the lockers end.
“After opening the steel door, the officials were about to open the next door which is an iron grille like those found in prisons. However, they noticed through the grille that things were scattered inside the strongroom. They also noticed that several lockers seemed to have been broken. They immediately called up the police control room,” assistant general manager S K Pancholi told as reported by TOI.
A security alarm and CCTV cameras are installed in the strongroom. The staff also confirmed that there was no security guard at the branch and that the bank depended on police patrol vehicles for safety. Hence, even if the alarm went off, nobody could hear it since the bank was closed for the weekend.
The Ghaziabad police, along with a forensic team and a dog squad reached the bank after receiving a call from the staff. They have registered a case under relevant sections of the IPC based on a complaint registered by the bank officials.
According to the police, the thieves used hammers and pickaxes to break the wall while drilling was done through blade saws. The tools were recovered by the police from the spot.
There is also evidence suggesting that the burglars tried to open more than 30 lockers. They also stole a double-barrelled gun from the steel cabinet inside the strongroom. However, the iron chest that housed the cash reserves of the bank was left untouched.
Several customers who had their accounts in the bank thronged the branch when they heard about the burglary. They are reportedly worried whether they will ever be able to recover their valuables and savings.