AHMEDABAD: Thieves who broke into five ATMs in Gujarat recently demonstrated the slickness of Hollywood criminals. The gang of nine thieves, most of whom are from Haryana, travelled by a luxury bus accompanied by an SUV. A gas cylinder was fitted into the bus and had a 30-40 feet rubber pipe to which a gas cutter was attached.
The gang parked the bus near ATM and took the pipe to the machines. “They would cut open ATMs and flee with cash in minutes,” said a senior police official. The most unique part of the modus operandi was the getaway plan.
“The gang had built a special metal ramp in the bus,” said a senior crime branch officer. “Whenever the gang members felt at risk, they would lower the ramp, drive the SUV into the bus and get away.”
These startling facts came to light during the interrogation of Shamim Mev, 30, a resident of Nakalpur in Haryana. Mev, arrested on Monday by the Rajasthan Police, is believed to be the kingpin of the gang.
“Other gang members are Maran Khan, Narsi Ratti, Farooq Haroon, Mustaq Salam, Hasam Sindhi, Naseem Mistry, Dawood Mev, Saifully Gaffar and Shakir Mihru,” said a police official. Crime branch officials said Mev has confessed to the Rajasthan Police that on February 19 and 20, the gang had broken into ATMs in Visnagar and Palanpur and had stolen Rs 13 lakh. “The gang did not stop there. On March 8, it broke into an ATM in Rajkot and on March 9, it struck two ATMs in Bhavnagar,” the crime branch source said.