Failing to lay their lands on cash locked inside an iron chest, a gang of robbers decamped with computers from a bank in Naxalite-hit Ichagarh in Seraikela-Kharsawan district, about 30km away from Jamshedpur, in the wee hours of Friday.
The criminals — around eight in number — gained entry into Bank of India’s Ichagarh branch at Millan Chowk after breaking open the locks on the grille at the entrance between 2am and 3am. The gang also destroyed all the CCTV cameras installed inside the premises.
“There were two iron chests in the bank. The criminals first dismantled one but found nothing inside. Then, they started breaking opening the other one that contained Rs 30 lakh. But midway, they panicked and fled with the iron chest partially broken,” said officer-in-charge of Ichagarh police station Amarjeet Prasad.
“Had they stayed back and opened the chest, the bank would have suffered huge losses. But on their way out, the robbers took four computers,” he added.
The officer admitted that the lock system at the bank was not proper.
“Though the room where the iron chests were kept was under lock and key, the criminals managed to break it open easily. The other rooms didn’t have any lock,” Prasad said.
The bank authorities also did not depute an armed guard as they feared that he might be targeted by rebels.
“Men from the local thana are sent to the bank twice during daytime to check whether everything is fine. At night, the bank is left unguarded,” the officer-in-charge added.
Seraikela-Kharsawan superintendent of police Madan Mohan Lal, who visited the bank, said the burglary appeared to have been committed by professionals.
“The way they first damaged CCTV cameras before moving toward the room having the iron chests suggests that a professional gang with thorough knowledge of the bank’s layout and infrastructure was involved,” he added.