Drunk duo decided to break open ATM to remove ‘stuck’ money

Bunty Sharma and Vinayak Jadhav were inebriated when they went to the ATM booth in Kasba Peth; when the machine didn’t eject any currency, they smashed it to get the cash, cops said

Three days after they attacked a 70-year-old security guard and vandalised a machine at the Axis Bank ATM booth in Kasba Peth, in the wee hours of Monday, officials of the Faraskhana police station arrested the duo yesterday. They confessed to committing the crime under the influence of alcohol, the police said. 

MiD DAY report on December 30

The two were identified as Bunty Kanhaiyalal Narayanji Sharma (31) alias Jayprakash, a Dapodi resident who is originally from Jaipur, and his friend Vinayak Suresh Jadhav (27), a resident of
537, Kasba Peth.

The duo was remanded in police custody till January 4 by the court yesterday.

While Sharma works as a labourer at a jewellery factory in Jaipur and has cleared Std XII, Jadhav, a Std X pass-out, drives a tempo for living. Neither has a criminal record.

Inspector Bhanupratap Barge from Farashana police station said, “On that night, the two met and consumed alcohol. Jadhav was going to drop Sharma near the PMC bus stop, and from there Sharma was supposed to go home. But when they reached Kasba Peth, the two decided to drink more and visited the nearest ATM to withdraw money.”

High jinks?
Since Jadhav assumed there was enough cash in his account, they first visited the Axis Bank ATM booth. But the machine displayed that his account had insufficient funds. They then visited the DCB ATM, adjacent to Axis Bank’s. Here, too, Jadhav’s attempt to withdraw cash failed.

“The two decided to break open the ATM machine and take away the cash as they believed it was stuck inside the machine. Since there was no security guard present at DCB Bank ATM, they first tried to break open the machine with a stone. After their first attempt failed, they entered the Axis Bank booth and threatened the 70-year-old guard. The suspects locked him in the inner room and vandalised the machine to take out cash. After they failed to get money from any of the machines, the duo fled the spot,” Barge said.

When the suspects realised tha CCTV grabs showing them inside one of the booths had been published in newspapers and broadcast on news channels the day after the crime, they decided to flee the city.

While Sharma planned to escape to Jaipur, Jadhav decided to go to Mahad in Raigad.

“Our constable Sunil Pawar got a tip-off about their movements, following which they were nabbed,” Barge said.

Poor security at ATM booths in area: Cops

In a survey conducted by the Faraskhana police station in its jurisdiction, none of the 32 ATM booths of various banks had an alarm system to alert the bank authorities or police in case of an emergency. Half of the booths did not have transparent doors or an internal shutter lock.

Barge said, “All the ATM booths have CCTV cameras installed inside, but we are unsure whether they are of good quality or not. If the quality of the video isn’t good, then these cams would be of no use to police during investigation. Though several booths were manned by security guards, they appeared to be physically unfit.”

In order to avoid any untoward incident in the future, Bagre told he has instructed police officials to intensify their patrolling in the area, especially between 2 am to 6 am.

“Police personnel are now required to enter ATM booths every hour, stand in front of the camera and return to police station to make an official station diary about their visits. They are then supposed to SMS me the details of their visits. This system has been put in place to ensure that policemen don’t skip their duty,” he said. “We are also planning to take help of MPSC students for night patrolling to curb crimes like burglary, etc. We are going to make four squads of eligible aspirants, who would ‘religiously’ take part in patrolling.”

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