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Representational image of theft.Pixabay

Burglars broke into the Modinagar branch of Punjab National Bank during the weekend after cutting a two-feet hole on the wall of a strongroom and fled with valuables worth crores of rupees.

The incident came to light on Monday morning, when the bank staff, in the presence of a head cashier, opened a strongroom through a steel door. The bank is located on NH-58, close to an abandoned rubber factory.The strong room of the bank shared a common wall with an empty office which sits on an L-shaped plot. The thieves used the room to gain access to the bank. 

"After opening the steel door, the officials were about to open the next door which is an iron grille like those found in prisons. However, they noticed through the grille that things were scattered inside the strongroom. They also noticed that several lockers seemed to have been broken. They immediately called up the police control room," TOI quoted assistant general manager S K Pancholi as saying.

There were a security alarm and CCTV cameras in the strongroom. The bank staff also confirmed there was no security guard.

Further, the bank depended on police patrol vehicles for safety. Even if the alarms went off, nobody could have heard the noise as the bank was closed for the weekend.

Accompanied by a forensic team and a dog squad, the Ghaziabad police reached the bank after getting a call from the bank staff. A case was registered under relevant sections of IPC based on a complaint filed by bank officials.

Police said the thieves used hammers and pick axe to break the wall while they drilled the wall using blade saws. The police recovered tools from the spot. Further, evidence suggest that the burglars tried opening more than 30 lockers and also stole a double-barrelled gun from the steel cabinet in a strong room.

However, the iron chest that housed the cash reserves of the bank remained untouched. Several worried customers thronged the bank on hearing about the burglary.