‘ATM Baba’ on the loose! Search on for man who runs crash course on 15-minute ATM break-ins in Lucknow

First Published Apr 26, 2023, 5:53 PM IST

Sudhir Mishra of Bihar’s Chappra is known as ‘ATM Baba’ among his acquaintances, but he is not some self-proclaimed godman. Instead, his ‘skills’ of teaching unemployed youth how to smash ATMs in a matter of 15 minutes are what has given him the nickname.

Four young people, who were arrested for allegedly stealing Rs 39.58 lakh from an ATM near the Sushant Golf City police station on April 4, confirmed this. Though police also found Rs 9.13 lakh in their custody, their attention is now on apprehending Mishra, the head of the pan-Indian group.

According to a senior official, police searched over 1,000 CCTV recordings, mobile phone data, and more than 20 toll booths surrounding Lucknow on an infamous day to find the ATM robbery suspect.

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“During the investigation, a CCTV capture from a residence close to the ATM was discovered. The miscreants’ entry and exit into the city were made from a blue automobile,” the officer reported. The team then reached its owner in Sitamarhi, Bihar.

Meanwhile, a different police unit stopped the same car on Sultanpur Road and detained the four people inside. One of the detained men, Neeraj, was a permanent member of the group and had five charges pending against him, according to Golf City’s SHO, Shailendra Giri. According to Giri, Neeraj acknowledged that he had learned the trade’s secrets from Mishra.

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According to sources, Mishra employs young people from several states who are unemployed and run a well-oiled gang. They are given instructions on how to quickly access an ATM, cover their identity by sprinkling misty liquid at cameras and on the glass walls of the ATM booth, break through the cash box of the ATM, and leave within 15 minutes, they said.

Following the training, a 15-day live demonstration is also held. According to the police, the group has been responsible for more than 30 crimes nationwide in the past year.

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Last Updated Apr 26, 2023, 5:53 PM IST

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