Bank robbers loot Rs 40 lakh through 25-feet tunnel

It is not clear when the bank was robbed as it was closed on the weekend

In an incident that could ring alarm bells for customers who think their jewellery and valuables are safe inside bank lockers, robbers in Navi Mumbai dug a 25-feet tunnel to enter a Bank of Baroda Juinagar branch. The crime was discovered on Monday morning.

The police told the BBC that cash and jewellery were stolen but the value of the haul is yet to be determined. Officials of Bank of Baroda have declined to comment. The fifth shop is unoccupied, while the sixth belongs to a security agency.

In short, the customers bear sole responsibility for the safe-keeping of all valuables that they store in bank lockers and the bank holds no responsibility whatsoever in cases of theft or burglary as is the case in the dramatic bank heist reported today.

The robbers had rented out an adjoining shop outside the bank's store room in May 2017. They dug an underground tunnel from the shop. The first tunnel found had a circumference of about 3 feet and was around 5 feet deep from the shop to ground. In 2014, a similar incident occurred, where the perpetrators dug a tunnel leading to the locker room of Punjab National Bank's Sonepat branch, and robbed valuables worth crores from 89 lockers. According to the police, the accused used plywood and bamboo for support. They dumped the debris near the railway station.

The suspected thieves have been missing since the robbery on Saturday night. "We have got clues about the accused and our teams are working on them", Assistant police inspector (Turbhe division) Mr. Kiran Patil said.

"Taking advantage of the two-day weekend break, the accused broke 30 lockers", police sources said. The Bank officials were shocked to open the bank only to find the robbery that already happened on Sunday. The bank had called all its customers to following the robbery for assessment of the robbery. Some were inconsolable after learning about the theft, while others were relieved to know that their lockers had not been broken into. Then a bank officer and I pried it open.

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