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Friday, December 12, 2014

Bank SMS (to USA) helps identification of 'break-in' at Coimbatore

‘break-in’ [noun] –
1)    Defined as the first usage or experience with something
2)    An illegal entry into a house, building or vehicle. 

The latter is a crime and can cause financial loss to the owner i.e., the victim. Burglary is defined as the ‘crime of breaking into and entering a building with the intention to commit a felony.’  At common law burglary is primarily an offense against the security of habitation, and need  not be against the property as such! ~ the criminal law of the country does not speak of an offence called burglary.  There is specific Policy providing indemnity in respect of loss of or damage whilst within the insured premises as a direct result of burglary which is clearly defined as : - an actual theft or an attempt thereat a) accompanied by an actual forcible and violent entry into or exit from any Building at the premises or b) following assault or violence to any person or threat thereof.

The Policy has some exclusions too…  all policies expect the Insured to be prudent and not contribute to the loss in any manner. There are warranties too – one such is ’24 hour watch and ward warranty’ – which often provides possibility of varied interpretations … whether it is intended to ensure the premises adequately guarded during the night time or do the Insurers really want a security during the day time too. Whether the guard facility should be exclusive or ‘name-sake guarding’ (patrolling) done in the night for the entire complex / colony !  ~ more thoughts could flood at a time, when you realize that most ATMs in the country do not either have security or manned by security (!) personnel – not fit enough to walk !! – leave alone safeguarding or running after a criminal.  ~ and how would an Insurer treat the CC TV monitoring… is that a safeguard ? – in some  cases that we encountered  – the system either does not work, does not show any clarity in the night time, the angle is not proper, does not have a recording facility or the intruder easily cuts off the system………

Technology does help – if properly used and when somebody invests wisely and adequately.  Sometime back there was the news of an alert security officer monitoring live CCTV footage from Reliance supermarkets across the country helped prevent a break-in at the company’s outlet in Madipakkam, near Pallikaranai, past midnight on Sunday.   The officer saw a man force open a shutter and break a glass window to enter the outlet. He called up the manager of the Madipakkam store, who informed the Pallikaranai police about the burglar.  The offender reportedly had scaled a compound wall and entered the store using a crowbar. He tripped an alarm but was not  aware of it because it sounded bells in Mumbai. In a different case reported by Express News Service on 23.11.2014, a SMS sent by Bank helped a technie in US detect break-in in Coimbatore – though, sadly by that time, the damage had been done. 


According to the report in Indian Express, a software engineer Vivek Selvaraj, working in New Jersey, received a mobile alert at 5 am on Friday which informed him that Rs.72,000/- had been withdrawn from his bank account. He called up his father, M Selvaraj, residing at Amman Nagar in Sulur and enquired with him about the alert.  Selvaraj informed his son that he was in Theni. Alarmed, Selvaraj, a retired bank employee, requested one of his relatives to go and check on the home when the burglary came to light when the relative visited the home to find that the front door broken open and the house ransacked. It was later learnt that burglars had broken into the home and looted around 2.5 sovereigns of gold,  Rs.1,000 in cash and also Vivek’s ATM card, whose use had sent the SMS alert. Based on a complaint from Selvaraj, Sulur police registered a case.

Speaking to Express, Selvaraj said he left with his wife for Theni on November 17 and added that Vivek had left the ATM card and the PIN at home. According to sources, the ATM card was kept along with PIN written in a piece of paper inside a polythene cover.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

25th Nov. 2014.

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