The thieves drilled the hole in the wall of an empty office right behind the strongroom and accessed 30 of the 435 lockers in the branch before they made good their escape.
The incident happened sometime over the weekend in Punjab National Bank’s Modinagar Branch. The robbery came to light on Monday morning when the head cashier and a bank staff opened the strongroom through a steel door.
The bank which is located on NH-58 is close to an abandoned rubber factory. The strongroom of the bank shared a common wall with an empty office located on this L-shaped plot. The burglars used this room to enter the bank. They drilled a hole through the nine-inch thick common wall at a height just above where the lockers end.
“After opening the steel door, the officials were about to open the next door which is an iron grille like those found in prisons. However, they noticed through the grille that things were scattered inside the strongroom. They also noticed that several lockers seemed to have been broken. They immediately called up the police control room,” assistant general manager S K Pancholi told as reported by TOI.
The strongroom of the branch is guarded by two steel doors, that can only be opened by a set of two keys. The two keys are to be inserted together into the door’s lock. A security alarm and a CCTV are also installed in the bank’s vault. Even if the alarm did go off, no one would have heard it as the bank does not have a guard. The branch is dependent on UP Police Patrol vehicles for security, according to the same report.