Plumber spreads ghost rumours to loot ATM centre, arrested

Desperate to gather money for his father’s operation, 28-year-old Ghanshyam Bari was arrested yesterday night for trying to loot an Axis Bank ATM at New Custom House building in Ballard Pier. 

The accused, Ghanshyam Bari
In dire straits: The accused, Ghanshyam Bari

Police officials said Bari, a plumber, used to work in the same building and had noticed that the ATM guard would go to sleep around midnight. To scare the guard, Bari told him that a ghost was frequenting the area.

On August 24, the guard informed the police officials that a break-in was attempted at the ATM centre around 4 am.

During investigation, police officials discovered that the thief had smashed two CCTV cameras installed inside the ATM, but failed to locate and destroy the third one.

“The accused had covered his face to conceal his identity. After breaking the two cameras, he removed the bag thinking that it was safe to do so. At this time, the third camera recorded him trying to break the ATM machine,” ACP (Azad Maidan Division) Sashikant Satav said.

Bari’s attempt to break the ATM machine failed and he left the place empty-handed.

“Based on the footage recorded by the third CCTV camera, we launched a manhunt for the thief. Our constables Hemkant Bagul and Sambhaji Kolekar went to the same building and showed people the video grad of the thief. They were told that the accused used to work in the same building as a plumber,” said Senior Police Inspector of MRA Marg police station Padmakar Juikar.

Based on this information, Bagul and Kolekar picked up Bari from his residence at Ganeshmurthi Nagar in Cuffe Parade. During interrogation, officials learnt that Bari’s father was supposed to undergo eye surgery and he was in desperate need of money.

“Bari tried to gather money from relatives and his employers, but did not succeed. He then decided to spread rumours that a ghost frequented area around the ATM centre. He told the building watchman and the ATM guard that he had seen the ghost. He hoped that this would prevent both the guards from leaving their shelters, thus making it easy for him to flee with the money,” said Shashikant Jadhav, sub-inspector of MRA Marg police station.

Bari has been remanded in police custody till October 3. 

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