Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 24:

In a major breakthrough, Twin City Commissionerate police today nabbed a history-sheeter allegedly involved in series of bank ATM thefts in at least six districts in Odisha.

ATM theft

Acting on a complaint registered with Khandagiri police station on Wednesday by one Ullash Chandra Mohanty of Baramunda here that Rs 20, 000 has been withdrawn from his account by unknown persons from Ramamani Petrol Pump SBI ATM, police swung into action and began and investigation into the incident.

Based on the investigation, police arrested Madhab Acharya—a resident of Mahavir Nagar in Salia Sahi under Nayapalli police limits—for his alleged complicity in series of crimes. Madhab hails from Tarando in Kendrapada district.

“Madhab Acharya and his associates usually target old men and women at the time of withdrawal of cash from SBI ATMs. They remain present inside the ATM and take position behind the customer and observe his/her finger movement and remember the password. After the customer has inserted the ATM card and entered his password, they cunningly press the cancel button. After few attempts to withdraw the cash, they persuade the customer to leave the ATM on the plea that ATM is not functional. Soon after the departure of the customer, they enter the password and withdraw the amount and leave the ATM,” Twin City Commissioner YB Khurania said.

Interestingly, the accused claims to have learnt the technique by observing ATM theft movies on video sharing website YouTube.

Madhab Acharya possesses two buses, one car and some other assets apparently made from the money stolen from ATMs, sources said.

Notably, police have seized two buses bearing registration number OD 02 AQ 0877, OR 05D 1747, one Hyundai i10 car bearing registration number OD 02 AC 1936, Rs 60, 000 cash and a tin plate of the size of an ATM card.

It is learnt that the accused had criminal antecedents and had earlier been sent to jail in cases pertaining to drugging and mobile theft. They were active in Bhubaneswar, Khurda, Kendrapada, Balasore, Bhadrak, Dhenkanal and Puri.

Some more associates of Madhab are still at large. Efforts are on to nab them, police added.