In a Bollywood-style heist, thieves dug a 100-foot tunnel to Punjab National Bank in Sonepat district and broke into several lockers decamping with cash, jewellery and other valuables.
The bank is located in a residential-cum-commercial area, near Old Bus Stand in Gohana city. The daring robbery came to light on Monday morning when bank manager Devender Malik opened the strongroom at 10am. He found the almirahs in the strongroom broken open and Rs 40 lakh cash missing. Apart from this, 88 out of 360 lockers had been prised open and their contents like jewellery and cash missing.
Sources say the loss could run into crores of rupees. The house from where the robbers started digging the tunnel is unoccupied as it is a disputed property. The robbers seem to have been digging for some days as the tunnel was 2.5 feet in circumference. Tools and earth dumped in the vacant house indicate that the burglars knew the exact location of the strongroom and lockers in the bank.
Preliminary investigations also suggest that the culprits chose Sunday to strike since the area would be deserted.
Unlike other places where strongrooms and locker rooms have at least one feet of concrete covered with a thick iron sheet, this one had an ordinary floor which was easily punctured by the burglars. “We have constituted teams to crack the case at the earliest,” said Sonepat SP Arun Nehra.
Bank officials have asked the clients whose lockers were broken open to provide details of their contents.