Robbers Dig in Tunnel Into Bank, Loot 27 Lockers

Robbers Dig in Tunnel Into Bank, Loot 27 Lockers

The onus of bearing the loss of the audacious robbery at Bank of Baroda's Juinagar branch in Navi Mumbai on the outskirts of India's financial capital is set to fall on the 30-odd customers whose lockers were prised open by the robbers.

The suspected thieves have been missing since the robbery on Saturday night. For most, building a tunnel, nearly like a "proper construction" five feet under the ground in a highly populated area, which is surrounded by banks and the resultant security, seemed unimaginable.

A police official said in a statement that this could be the work of expert criminals and a new modus operandi had been revealed, which may need to be factored in by security agencies manning such banks. "We have some clues about the accused", Assistant Police Inspector (Turbhe division) Kiran Patil said. "The accused in this case could be linked to them".

"Taking advantage of the two-day weekend break, the accused broke 30 lockers", police sources said. The police are yet to evaluate the total worth of the stolen goods, according to Commissioner of Police Hemant Nagrale. Of 237 lockers, 30 lockers were found open.

Now the customers who lost their valuables in the heist in the locker room of Bank of Baroda may not get any compensation. Some were inconsolable after learning about the theft, while others were relieved to know that their lockers had not been broken into. "I was so shocked, could not hold back my tears".

Afaf Shaikh was nervous till she could check her locker and verify that all her belongings were intact.

The current incident, and similar ones in the recent past, point to the increasing redundancy of bank lockers under existing rules.

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