Two members of an interstate gang of Mewat-based ATM robbers have been arrested after a brief exchange of fire near the Bhati Mines Wildlife Sanctuary in south Delhi’s Chhatarpur, police said on Sunday.
Wakil alias Shakil (35) and Abid Hussain (34) were wanted in a dozen cases of breaking and uprooting of ATMs in Delhi-National Capital Region and five other states, they said.
Wakil, who carried a Madhya Pradesh police reward in an ATM breaking case, got injured in the right leg during the exchange of fire, the Delhi police said.
According to police, both of them were planning to uproot ATMs and had identified some kiosks in South Delhi. Wakil is a ”technical expert” in breaking ATMs and extracting the cash tray.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Jasmeet Singh said both were arrested on Saturday evening near the wildlife sanctuary towards Bhati mines, Chhatarpur.
”A police team had surrounded the duo but the accused men whipped out their pistols and threatened to fire. Wakil suddenly fired two shots towards the team. Abid Hussain could not fire due to a technical snag in his pistol,” he said. Police also fired two rounds in self-defense to overpower the criminals following which Wakil got injured in his right leg. He was immediately rushed to the Safdarjung hospital for the treatment, he added. A semi-automatic pistol, one single shot pistol and six live cartridges were recovered from possession of accused persons at the spot. A motorcycle stolen from Mehrauli area was also recovered from them, he said.
During interrogation, they disclosed their modus operandi and said they identified the unguarded ATMs in isolated or under-lit areas and threw black paint on CCTV camera of the ATMs. Thereafter, they broke the ATMs with a gas cutter and removed the cash trays,” he said. ”The gang members remain armed with sophisticated and deadly weapons while committing the crime. They do not hesitate to attack police personnel or police vehicles or to open fire on a slightest resistance in order to escape in case they are challenged by the police. In some instances, members of this criminal gang have also damaged PCR vans by pelting stones at them,” the DCP said.