Thieves dig 25 ft tunnel to reach bank vault, rob valuables worth crores in Navi Mumbai

Robbers dig 25 ft tunnel to reach bank vault, steal valuables worth crores in Navi Mumbai
Navi Mumbai police has formed multiple teams to nab the culprits (Bank of Baroda branch in Navi Mumbai. Courtesy: PTI)

In a bank robbery reminiscent of a 90’s Bollywood heist film, a group of expert thieves dug a 25-feet tunnel to reach the lockers of a bank in Navi Mumbai and fled with valuables worth crores.

The robbery took place at Bank of Baroda’s branch in Juninagar area of neighbouring Navi Mumbai between Saturday and Sunday.

The thieves had allegedly rented a place, located two shops after the bank branch, in May.

Over time, they dug a 25-feet long tunnel to reach the branch’s locker room.

The robbers made their move over the weekend when the bank was shut and managed to steal valuables from 30 of the 225 lockers.

The theft came to light on Monday when the bank staff went to the locker room and found it in complete disarray, with many of the lockers still open.

“We are examining the CCTV footages. Even though the exact valuation of the looted items is yet to be ascertained, it appears that valuables worth Rs 40 lakh have been stolen,” an official said.

The bank, incidentally, had not installed CCTV cameras in the locker room to protect the customer’s privacy.

Although valuables worth Rs 40 lakh have been reported stolen so far, a source told Local Press Co that the actual extent of the theft would run into a few crores as not every item will be reported stolen.

Meanwhile, cops have already found the name of the person – Gena Prasad – who had rented the shop next to the bank. The tenant, who was running a general store named ‘Shri Balaji’ from the shop, has been missing since the incident came to light.

“A case under relevant sections of the IPC has been registered at the Sanpada police station,” Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said, adding a probe is on.

Police suspect that the robbery was committed by a team of expert thieves, who knew about the bank’s layout and likely spent months planning and executing it.

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