Taking his cue from a YouTube video, a 25-year-old readymade clothes seller, who wanted to recoup losses suffered during lockdown, robbed two banks of Rs 12 lakh in Bhubaneswar, said police. The man, who used toy guns to rob the banks, has been arrested.
Bhubaneswar-Cuttack police commissioner Sudhansu Sarangi said Soumyaranjan Jena, alias Tulu, from a Tangibanta village on the city outskirts robbed Indian Overseas Bank and Bank of India last month.
“He had looted nearly Rs 12 lakh from the Indian Overseas Bank, near Infocity area on September 7, and the Bank of India’s Barimunda branch in Mancheswar area on September 28. He got the idea watching YouTube videos and used a toy gun to rob the two banks. Police recovered cash amounting to over Rs 10 lakh and seized the vehicle and the toy gun used in the robbery,” said the police commissioner.
Jena had allegedly barged into the bank wearing a helmet when few staff members were present and asked them to handover the cash. He had used a scooty to come to the bank to loot. “After looting the first bank with a toy gun, he had bought a pistol and bullets. His use of Scooty and other evidence in the bank gave us clues that helped us reach him,” said Sarangi.
The accused has accounts in both the banks and had taken a loan of nearly Rs 19 lakh. The youth began his business by taking loans. Though he was doing a brisk business with a turnover of Rs 9 to 10 lakh, it was hit badly during the lockdown. After looting, he had come to the bank to repay some of the loan amount.
There has been a spate of robberies in banks and ATMs in Odisha during the lockdown. Last month, a trader in Keonjhar town was robbed of Rs 2 lakh while going to deposit the money in a bank. In May, a 14-year-old boy of Bhubaneswar studying in class 9 was arrested while trying to break into an ATM in the city after getting the idea from YouTube. Similarly, in April, robbers unsuccessfully tried to break upon the cash box of an ATM of Tata Indicash under Jajpur police station. In August, police in Angul district had arrested 7 persons from Haryana who had robbed Rs 27.5 lakh from an SBI ATM.