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ATM fraud

Bank’s CCTV surveillance team sitting in Pune foils robbery attempt at ATM kiosk in Behala

Team spots 'suspicious' duo on CCTV feed real time

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 22.02.24, 06:09 AM
Representational image

Representational image

File picture

A bank’s CCTV surveillance team sitting around 1,800km away in Pune foiled a robbery attempt at one of its unguarded ATM kiosks in Behala on Tuesday night.

The team that spotted two men inside the kiosk doing something “suspicious” through a CCTV camera installed at the kiosk alerted the local Thakurpukur police station in Kolkata.


Police rushed to the spot and caught the two men, who had no inkling that their activities inside the ATM kiosk were being monitored real time from another city.

The duo, the police said, had installed a “non-electronic” device at the cash dispenser of the nationalised bank’s ATM so some of the notes would stick to it and not come out of the machine when someone tried to withdraw cash.

The person withdrawing the cash would get the impression that the ATM had run out of money. However, the entire amount would be deducted from his or her account. Later, the thieves would remove the device and collect the notes, the police said.

“Just after receiving the alert, two of our officers who were closest to the kiosk rushed to the spot and found the two men still inside the kiosk. Our officers immediately downed the shutters of the kiosk to prevent the two from fleeing. Once a bigger team went there, the shutters were opened and the duo arrested,” said an officer of the south-west division of Kolkata police.

The police said some currency notes that had stuck to the device that the men had installed were seized from their possession. The arrested duo are from Bihar, the police said.

The device, which the police said resembled a plastic ruler, has been seized.

Several instances of theft or attempted break-in have been reported from ATMs across the city. The police said the majority of such cases were reported from kiosks that did not have guards.

“In almost all such cases (reported at unguarded kiosks), the CCTV footage acts as a detection tool and has helped us identify the suspects’ faces much after the commission of the crime. But this is one such case where the camera actually helped in real-time detection,” said an officer at Lalbazar.

The police said the banks that do not deploy guards at the ATM kiosks have been asked to install burglar alarms.

“Installing CCTV cameras inside ATM kiosk is mandatory, for the manned as well as the unmanned ones. It is equally important to check the footage for real-time detection of crimes like this one,” said a senior police officer.

Last updated on 22.02.24, 06:09 AM

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