IN A bizarre incident, burglars used a stolen excavator to dislodge a cash dispenser box from an ATM kiosk in Sangli district but failed to flee with cash of Rs 27 lakh after they dropped the box a few metres away from the kiosk, said police.
Officials from Sangli Police said the incident took place on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday in Arag town of Miraj taluka. They said neither was a security guard deployed at the kiosk nor was an alarm system installed.
Initial investigation suggests that the burglars stole the excavator parked near the premises of the Gram Panchayat office of the town.
They came to the kiosk and dislodged the cash dispenser box by using the excavator bucket. Officials said that some local residents were alerted because of the noise.
“The burglars did manage to dislodge the cash dispenser box with the help of the excavator. But the box was found a few metres from the spot, suggesting that they dropped it from the bucket when they were fleeing with it. They probably could not pick it up again as it was heavy. Meanwhile, our teams responded to the call from local residents and reached the spot, but the suspects managed to flee. We have launched an extensive probe to identify and arrest the suspects,” said Sangli District Superintendent of Police Dikshit Gedam.
Police said the stolen excavator was abandoned by the burglars some distance away from the kiosk.
In a similar incident last week, two robbers had triggered a blast at an ATM kiosk in Pimpri-Chinchwad area using gelatin sticks, but they could not take away any cash as the blast was not strong enough to break open the cash dispenser.
In July last year, some burglars had triggered a blast using a contraption similar to an improvised explosive device to break an ATM dispenser and fled with nearly Rs 28 lakh in cash near Chakan.
There have also been several instances in which burglars have used ropes and cars to uproot the cash dispensers, or they have used gas cutters to break open the machine and fled with large sums of cash.