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A man inserts his card to withdraw money from a mobile bank ATM machine in New Delhi on November 15, 2016.CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images

An attempt by a thief to loot cash from an unguarded ATM was thwarted by the police, officials said Sunday.

While the culprit managed to escape, he left behind more than Rs 17 lakh in cash that was taken out from the ATM after breaking it open, they said.

According to Station House Officer (SHO) of Channi Himmat Police Station Mohd Aslam, the thief attracted the attention of police patrolling the Sainik Colony locality on the outskirts of Jammu while attempting to break open the ATM.

The police party comprising head constable Satish Kumar and selection grade constable Murad Ali heard some noise from a UCO bank ATM at around 2.45 am last night, Aslam told PTI.

The policemen rushed towards the ATM but the thief who had taken out all the cash amounting to Rs 17,53,700 fled the scene, he added.

A case was registered and efforts were on to identify the culprit and bring him to book, he said.