A thief and con man from Gujranwala, whose antics during an ATM robbery had shot him to fame on social media, was arrested on Friday evening in Rahim Yar Khan, police said.
In a video that went viral on social media a few days ago, the man can be seen stealing an ATM card after breaking open a machine in Faisalabad and sticking his tongue out in jest at both the camera in the corner of the booth and the one installed in the machine itself.
On Friday, the man once again entered an ATM booth — this time in Rahim Yar Khan — and was in the process of breaking the machine's exterior when he was caught red-handed by other customers. The incident occurred on Shahi road at Habib Bank Limited.
According to the district police officer's spokesperson, Zeeshan Randhawa, the thief was identified as Salahuddin Ayubi of Gujranwala's Kamonkay district.
Randhawa told Dawn that Ayubi had broken into many ATM machines in the past in Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, and Islamabad among other cities and used to go into hiding for a long time after each stint. He had been arrested on three prior occasions but was let go each time after he presented himself to be speech-impaired.
"Yesterday, when people handed Ayubi over to police, he initially put on an act, pretending to be speech-impaired, but later spoke to the investigators," said Randhawa.
A case has been registered against the suspect under Sections 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 454 (lurking house trespass or house-breaking in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment) and 380 (theft in dwelling, house, etc) of the Pakistan Penal Code.