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Hi-tech ATM thieves in net

Three members of an interstate gang, notorious for using sophisticated arms and equipment to engineer daring ATM thefts and bank heists, were nabbed from New Market Chowk in Ranchi’s Sukhdeonagar police station area in the wee hours of Wednesday.

Amanulla Ansari, a resident of Tetaria in Pratappur area of Chatra; Saurabh Singh aka Bittu, hailing from Pandu in Bihar’s Aurangabad district; and Sudama Kumar Singh of Shastri Nagar in Ranchi’s Madhukam area were on their way to Ratu in an SUV when they were intercepted around 4am. The trio are in the age group of 30-35 years.

A countrymade pistol with three rounds of ammunition and a cache of equipment, including a three-feet detachable lock cutter, a gas cutter, rods and hexa blades, were found on them.

Ranchi SSP Prabhat Kumar, addressing a news meet at Kotwali police station, said all three had criminal past.

“Ansari is booked at different police stations in Gaya, Jamshedpur and Hazaribagh and has also served jail term. Saurabh Singh was sent to jail from Argora police station. Sudama, too, has police records and interrogation suggests he was released from Birsa Munda Central Jail five days ago,” the SSP said.

Kumar added that the trio’s arrest was expected to help police crack at least 12 cases registered at different police stations of the city. “These include theft at jewellery shops and ATM kiosks among others,” he said, adding that three more members of the gang were still at large.

The senior officer further shed light on the use of sophisticated equipment. “The detachable cutter can slice strong locks as easily as a scisser cuts through cloth,” he said.

Coincidentally, the arrests came a day after chief minister Hemant Soren asked police to curb crimes in cities, besides carrying out anti-Naxalite operations.

“The force needs someone to mount pressure. If the government takes true interest, every kind of crime, let alone Naxalism, will be under control,” said an officer, refusing to be named.

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