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Sunday, November 2, 2014

digging tunnel to bank locker - old idea still works !!!

Palavakkam is now a posh area – it is around 6 kms south of Adyar located on East Coast Road. 

Old timers would fondly recall the PC game ‘Digger’ – which was a smashing hit of mid 1980s – it was of Canadian origin released by Windmill Software in 1983 for the IBM PC.  The player (with keyboard manipulation) placed in an underground maze can dig horizontal and vertical tunnels through it. At least one tunnel  would exist at the start of play. At various points on the board would be  emeralds (usually in clusters) and bags of gold. Monsters (initially in the 'nobbin' form) appeared at the top right-hand corner. If earth is excavated from under a gold bag, then the bag will wobble for a few seconds and then drop;  digger also had a weapon, which will fire in a straight line, but takes several seconds to recharge (taking longer as the levels go higher). When a monster is killed, another would appear at the top right-hand corner of the screen, up to a maximum number which depends on the level.  25 points for each emerald + bonus points -  the Rob Sleath developed game was indeed a thriller. 

In 1976 - 'Crazy thieves in Palavakkam' - penned by Crazy Mohan and performed by SV Sekar, under the banner of 'Natakapriya' was a smashing hit.  It was about a middle class family trying to own a house in far-off suburb of Palavakkam – ‘Chennaikku miga arugil’ ….. ‘a man walking on the road’, the next door neighbour at a distance where one’s yelling might be heard – were all the description of this Palavakkam which at that time was ridiculed to be miles away from the mainland of Madras.  A group of thieves would kidnap a richboy and keep him at this Palavakkam house as this was off-bound for all – and in another Crazy thieves act, the thieves would dug up a tunnel from the house to the bank branch in the locality.

News reports state that the terrorists who had escaped from the Jatana area of Bijnor on September 12, when a bomb accidentally went off, were also involved in a bank robbery in Telangana ~ and they seem to be linked with the Burdwan blast as well.  Reports state that these terrorists had decamped with Rs 46 lakh from the State Bank of India (SBI) in Telangana’s Karimnagar on February 1, 2014 and used that money to fund their terror activities. Shaikh Mehboob, Amjad Ramzan alias Dawood, Mohammad Aslam Ayub alias Bilal and Zakir Hussain alias Siddiqui, owing allegiance to a faction of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), had committed the bank robbery a few months after running away from Khandawa jail in Madhya Pradesh in Oct, 2013. Sources in the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) claimed that they had committed bank robbery in Karimnagar to fund terrorist activities.

Elsewhere, burglars tunnelled more than 100 feet to carry out one of the biggest heists in the recent times at a Government bank in Haryana’s Sonepat district. The robbery came to light on Monday morning when the staff of the Punjab National Bank’s Gohana branch opened the strong room, only to find cash and valuables worth several crores missing. Located on the opposite side of the bank, an abandoned building was used by the burglars as a cover to start their operation.  The bank and the abandoned building are separated by a lane. The unoccupied building has been locked for the last three-four years. The tunnel was dug under the 15 feet wide lane to reach the strong room of the bank, the police said.  The robbers entered the strong room through a tunnel measuring 2.5 ft wide and roughly 120 ft long. They broke open 83 lockers with iron rods before decamping with the cash and valuables,”  DSP informed reporters. 

The police found heaps of soil in two rooms of the abandoned building. The burglars had covered the window panes with cardboards. Investigators are scanning the CCTV footage to gather clues about the gang involved in the burglary.  Iron cutters were apparently used to break open the lockers, the police said, adding that empty tetra juice packs and bottles of mineral water were found inside the abandoned building. The burglars broke around 90 lockers, of which only 83 were in operation. There are a total of 360 lock- ers in the strong room. Fortunately, the gang were unable to break open a chest containing cash worth Rs 40 lakh.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th Oct 2014.


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