Capital Police Arrest Thief who takes inspiration from YouTube to Tamper ATMs, Steal Over ₹4 Lakh


ITANAGAR | September 5, 2023: 

Staff Reporter 

Capital Police have arrested a thief who used a new technique to tamper ATMs after taking inspiration from YouTube videos . The thief, identified as Tabi Hilli, a resident of Shi Yomi and currently residing at Pachin Colony, was a former driver and watchman.

He would put pebbles in the ATM cash dispensing door, blocking the door so that the cash could not be dispensed. The customer would then leave the ATM, thinking that the machine was not working. Hilli would then return to the ATM, remove the pebbles, and take the cash.

On August 31, SBI Bank informed police that they had noticed a trend of their ATMs being targeted by someone, causing financial losses to the company that repairs them.

Acting on the complaint, police reviewed footage from the ATMs and the surrounding area.

The footage showed Hilli approaching the ATMs, fiddling with them as if he were a normal customer, and then leaving. A short time later, a genuine customer would come to the ATM and try to withdraw cash, but they would not be able to. The ATM would show that the cash had been debited, but no cash would be dispensed.

Hilli would then return to the ATM after the customer left and withdraw all of the cash that the genuine customer had tried to withdraw.

According to police, Hilli learned how to tamper with ATMs by watching videos on YouTube. He had been doing this since 2019 and had stolen over ₹4 lakh rupees.

He has made more than 100 such attempts over the years, including 26 at the ATM of Zero Point, Itanagar.

Hilli was arrested by a team of police officers led by Inspector K. Yangfo, OC of Itanagar Police Station. He was apprehended near Gandhi Market, opposite Heema Hospital, on September 3, 2023.

The police also recovered one stolen scooty from Hilli's possession. He has been produced in court and remanded in police custody.

SP, Capital, Rohit Rajbir Singh said that Hilli usually waited 7-8 minutes before returning to the ATM to withdraw the cash. This was because the ATM would automatically return any uncollected cash after 7-8 minutes.

Police are warning the public to be aware of this new ATM tampering technique.

"If you are withdrawing cash from an ATM and the machine does not dispense the cash, do not leave the ATM. Instead, contact the bank or the police," appealed Singh.

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