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In a daring theft, burglars entered the State Bank of India (SBI) branch at Kadaganchi village in Aland taluk in Gulbarga district in the early hours of Saturday and decamped with cash and gold ornaments worth over Rs. 1.52 crore from the secured lockers in the strongroom of the bank.

Senior police officials were baffled by the ingenuity of the burglars. According to preliminary estimates, the bank was looted of Rs. 46 lakh cash, and gold ornaments worth over Rs. 1.06 crore. Bank officials were still in the process of taking stock of the exact loss.

The burglars gained entry into the bank from the unguarded backdoor. They first broke open the lock of the mild-steel collapsible gate and then the wooden backdoor. A hole was drilled in the wall to enter the strongroom where the cash was kept in the heavily secured chests, and the gold ornaments in lockers.

Tools used

Police officials, who inspected the spot, said the burglars had used cutters and other tools to prise open the cash chests and lockers. They appeared to have full knowledge of the location of the strongroom, how the security system worked, and also where the CCTV cameras were installed. The burglars entered the bank, disconnected the power supply to the alarm system and smashed all the three CCTV cameras inside. Before smashing the cameras, the burglars flashed the torchlight directly on to them to prevent their images of the burglars.

Fortunately for the police, one camera captured a few images.

Forensic experts have collected fingerprints from the scene of the crime.

The buglary was noticed only when the branch opened in the morning. The branch is located on the outskirts of the village with only a few shops adjacent to it. Inspector-General of Police Mohammad Wazir Ahmed and other senior police officials visited the spot.

The police suspect the involvement of professional burglars from neighbouring States.

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    Basavaraj Harsur


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