Surat Crime Branch Busts ATM Gang Employing Unique Theft Technique
The gang's method of operation involved targeting ATMs manufactured by the NCR Company. They ingeniously inserted a spanner-like tool into the cash shutter of the ATM machine.
Surat: The Surat Crime Branch has apprehended three members of a notorious ATM gang hailing from Charpura village in Mohmandpura, Pratapgarh district, Uttar Pradesh. The arrests were made in connection with a series of ATM thefts targeting approximately seven ATMs in Surat’s Rander and Adajan areas. The gang employed a distinct modus operandi to pilfer cash belonging to unsuspecting customers.
The gang’s method of operation involved targeting ATMs manufactured by the NCR Company. They ingeniously inserted a spanner-like tool into the cash shutter of the ATM machine. When an unsuspecting customer attempted to withdraw money from the ATM, the cash would become trapped in the drawer and not be dispensed by the machine. After the customer left the ATM center, the culprits would discreetly remove the iron spanner from the shutter and escape with the trapped money.
The arrested individuals have been identified as Akhilesh Lalji Patel, Neeraj Srinath Patel, and Pankaj Mohanlal Dubey. All three were nabbed by the vigilant crime branch sleuths near the Ramji temple in the Mangalbhavan society of Surat’s Godadara locality. These individuals are believed to be part of a larger criminal network that specializes in ATM heists and had previously operated in Mohmandpura Charpura village in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh district.
To carry out this sophisticated theft, the gang utilized screwdrivers to extract the spanner from the ATM’s cash shutter.
Police investigations have unveiled that the criminal enterprise originated in Mohmandpura Charpura village, where some young individuals were employed by the NCR Company to maintain ATM machines. These employees acquired the skill of inserting the spanner into the ATM’s cash shutter to facilitate cash removal. They subsequently passed on this illicit know-how to others in the village, leading to the proliferation of ATM theft gangs in Charpura. These gangs eventually expanded their operations beyond Uttar Pradesh, targeting ATMs in various states.
The attention of Surat police was drawn to the gang’s activities when banks started receiving complaints from their account holders. Customers reported that they were unable to retrieve money from ATMs, yet their accounts were mysteriously debited. These complaints surfaced primarily in the Adajan, Rander, and Sarthana areas.
Upon investigating the complaints, bank officials discovered tampering with the ATM machines, leading to suspicions of foul play. Surveillance footage from the ATMs revealed the involvement of three individuals who had suspiciously entered the machines and manipulated them to facilitate theft.