Incident happened in east Delhi; police suspect insider’s role in the crime
: In the first such incident reported in the Capital since the demonetisation announcement, three bikers allegedly robbed a cash van’s staff of Rs. 5 lakh at gunpoint in east Delhi’s Pandav Nagar on Monday afternoon.
The incident involved aerial firing from the accused and retaliatory firing by a security guard, but no casualty was reported. The police suspect an insider’s role in the crime.
The incident happened when the staff members of cash management company Brink’s had stepped out of the van carrying cash to replenish a State Bank of India ATM near Patparganj More.
Eyewitnesses’ records shared with the police and a CCTV grab suggest that three men on a motorcycle first blocked the way of the van and then pulled off the heist. Five members — an in-charge, a gunman, two custodians and a driver — were manning the van when the incident happened.
“First, one of the custodians and the in-charge stepped inside the kiosk as the gunman also waited there. Two of the three men, one with a muffled face and another wearing a helmet, got down from the bike and approached the guard. The other custodian, meanwhile, followed with the briefcase containing the cash. However, before either of them could understand anything, one suspect tried snatching the briefcase from the carrier,” said a senior police officer.
The second suspect, meanwhile, engaged the guard in a scuffle and to deter the latter, fired one round in the air.
The guard also followed with retaliatory fire, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Omvir Singh.
The suspects, however, managed to flee with the briefcase.
“I could hear the custodian calling for help and saw him trying to drag the man off the motorbike when he was boarding with the bag. I tried to help him, but the men threatened to shoot us as well,” recalled Satvir Singh, one of the security guards at the ATM kiosk.
According to Mr. Singh, while the denomination of the notes robbed is yet to be established, the victims have said most of it comprised Rs. 500 notes.
The police were informed about the robbery around 2:25 p.m.
Eyewitnesses said the robbers drove towards NH-24, which would give them access to north-east Delhi and Ghaziabad. The police, however, said the video was not clear and the registration number of the bike was not visible. The van had left the Janakpuri office of the company with Rs. 60 lakh. The staff deposited Rs. 5 lakh each in three ATMs — two in Preet Vihar and one in Shakarpur — before arriving at the site of the robbery.
Rs.40 lakh intact
The remaining Rs. 40 lakh was in the van, but was untouched by the suspects, said the police.