Man with 'towel gun' take out Rs 9 lakh from Patna Bank

PATNA: In a daring robbery in broad daylight, in the middle of the state capital, a masked man entered a public sector bank branch in the bustling Road station, near Patna crossing, he pointed a gun wrapped in a towel at the cashier, and walked away coldly with Rs 9.12 lakh in cash on Tuesday afternoon.

It took only two minutes to plunder the bank. And it turned out that maybe he didn't even carry a gun. The thief had wrapped a thick towel around his right arm, which the frightened cashier assumed was a firearm.

City SP (central) Vinay Tiwary said: “The thief entered the bank at 3.04 p.m. and left at 3.06 p.m. The police arrived at the place at 3.11 pm.

Patna SSP Garima Malik said that the investigators suspect the masked robber was pretending to carry a gun. “He was spotted putting cash in a bag with both his hands. But there is no evidence of him keeping aside any firearm anywhere in the CCTV footage before stuffing the money in the bag, ”said Malik, adding, it appears the robber knew the branch well as he was moving around with familiarity.

Jitendra Kumar, an eyewitness, told TOI that the criminal had wrapped a thick towel around his palm and wrist, making it difficult to tell if he had a hidden gun or not.

“By pointing it out, he threatened us all to move inside. His face was covered. There was a power outage when he entered the branch, ”said Kumar.

There were at least 25 people, including 15 bank employees, inside the branch when the loot was carried out. No alarm was activated even after the loot. In addition, the branch has been operating without any security personnel. With this booty on the last day of the year, the bank booty count across the state reached 14, which is the second highest since 2014 and 2015. A maximum of 21 bank robbery incidents were reported in 2011.

SSP Malik said the role of the employees would be investigated when the cashier himself was seen holding the bag in which the thief was putting the cash.