Navi Mumbai Bank Heist: CCTV Shows Three Men Walking Out With Bags

The men allegedly built a tunnel that led to the bank from a nearby shop.

Updated
India
3 min read
A group of burglars built a tunnel near a Bank of Baroda branch in Navi Mumbai and stole valuables worth Rs 3crore. 
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In a dramatic heist, a group of robbers built a 25-foot tunnel to rob the Bank of Baroda's Juinagar Branch in Navi Mumbai. According to the latest reports by ANI, they escaped with valuables worth about Rs 3 crore, after robbing 30 different lockers from the locker room. Police have suspected the tenants of a nearby general store called Shri Balaji, that opened up sometime in May.

A recent video unearthed from a CCTV camera near the bank shows the robbers emerging one by one from what seems to be their shop, carrying bags filled with valuables worth Rs 3 crore.

The robbery is said to have taken place sometime between Friday and Sunday, since it only came to light when the branch re-opened on Monday. Police have suggested that the robbery was premeditated and that the robbers had been keeping track of the bank’s daily activities and been building a tunnel near it for several months now.

In the CCTV, a person wearing black shirt and jeans is seen coming out from the shop, hiding his face and carrying a big, white plastic bag. The bag was mostly used to fill debris, but it remains unclear what was actually inside it. The man then hid behind a car and began searching the bag for something.
An official from the Navi Mumbai police told Mid-Day
Then, another person, clad in a pink shirt and jeans emerged with two black handbags, going in another direction. He entered the shop again with his back towards the CCTV. Then, taking a plastic bag full of debris, he left the shop.
Official from the Navi Mumbai police

He added that the group of robbers seem to be aware of the CCTV camera, because they made a visible effort to hide their faces. The third and last man in blue track pants and a red jacket, was seen coming out while covering his face. He then proceeded to hide behind the cars parked out front, following which he reportedly escaped.

Also Read: Two Cities And the Tale of ATM Robberies Caught on CCTV

A lot of residents of Navi Mumbai lost a good portion of their valuables as a result of the robbery.
A lot of residents of Navi Mumbai lost a good portion of their valuables as a result of the robbery.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@HTMumbai)

The shop had been rented by one Gena Bachchan Prasad, a native of Jharkand, who Hindustan Times reports has been missing since the incident took place.

The robbery is suspected to have been committed by a gang from Jharkhand. The modus operandi is similar to that used by the Jharkhand gang arrested for looting Mayura Jewellers in Nerul in May 2017.
Sudhakar Pathare, DCP (Zone 1) told TOI

While the CCTV camera footage is being examined in detail by the police, it is a good 100 metres away from where the robbers were standing near Balaji store for anything to be clearly seen. The police are calling this a ‘group of robbers’ because of evidence which suggests that the tunnel construction couldn’t have been a one-man job.

Also Read: Kritika Choudhary Murder: ‘Robbery Might Be the Motive’

According to ACP Kiran Patil, the robbers would dig out the tunnel during the night, collect the debris and later dispose of it in the open grounds across the building in the morning, without arousing suspicion.

Police have said that the group also fixed ply sheets to the tunnel ceiling and used bamboo to prop them up to prevent debris from closing the tunnel. While the robbers had seemed to learn the bank’s layout fairly well, they hadn’t managed to break open the bank’s main safe vault in the treasury room.

As of now, the police are unearthing new clues that can help them track down the group of robbers, who they believe hail from Jharkand. They are even deploying six different teams for this purpose.

We have formed ten teams. The CCTV footage is being scanned to trace the accused with the help of sources,” said 
S Pathare, deputy commissioner of police at Vashi told Mid-Day
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