KARACHI: Armed robbers broke open over 30 lockers of a private bank in North Nazimabad and walked off with cash and jewellery in the small hours of Sunday, officials said.
They said that the robbers held a security guard at gunpoint and stayed inside the bank for around eight hours.
According to the Taimuria police, four armed men looted cash and expensive items from the lockers of a UBL branch near Sakhi Hassan.
Area SHO Abid Shah said the robbers barged into the branch on Saturday night at around 9pm when a private security guard returned to the bank after having dinner. He said that the robbers held him at gunpoint, entered the bank and broke open the lockers with the help of gas cutters till 5am on Sunday.
He said that they could not succeed in entering the main vault, where a huge amount of cash was kept.
Security guard held hostage, gas cutters used to open lockers in eight-hour-long hold-up
The SHO said when the suspects cut the DVR system, the guards of the security company concerned arrived there in a car for checking, but they did not know what was going on inside the branch and returned without taking any action.
He said that the bank guard was taken into custody for interrogation as he went outside for dinner in violation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Central SSP Malik Murtaza Tabassum told Dawn that total 34 lockers were broken and the exact amount of the looted good could be estimated only when the customers concerned would inform the police about their lost things.
Special Investigation Unit SSP Haider Raza said that there were a total of 260 lockers and 34 of them were broken by robbers. He said three of the 34 lockers were empty.
He said that the alarm system of the bank went off and the security firm’s vehicle came outside the bank but returned without taking any action. The same vehicle came again at around 5:30am and one of the guards scuffled with the suspects but other guards sitting in the vehicle did not open fire. As a result, the suspects managed to escape along with the DVR and the weapon of the bank guard.
On Sunday, some customers arrived at the place after receiving information about the incident.
They told the media they did not ‘trust’ in police. They said they could not keep their valuables at their homes as they did not consider it a safe place but now even the bank lockers were not safe.
Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2021