Rajkot: An ATM thief involved in 200 thefts was arrested from Kotharia Road locality of Rajkot on Friday.
The accused was identified as Dhiraj Panchal (33), a resident of Nakshat Township in Surat.

Talking about Panchal’s modus operandi, B T Gohel, sub-inspector with Rajkot crime branch, said, “Panchal would target unsuspecting senior citizens. He would wait inside the ATM centre for a senior citizen who had a difficulty in withdrawing money. He would offer him help and get the ATM card and PIN number from the victim, and after withdrawing money, he would swap the victim’s card with a duplicate card. Then he would go to another ATM centre and withdraw money from the victim’s account.”

During his interrogation, Panchal confessed to having committed 200 such thefts, of which 110 thefts he had committed in Mumbai and Thane districts, Jhalana district, Ahmednagar district and Nasik district in Maharashtra, and 90 thefts in Ahmedabad, Surat, Palanpur, Morbi and Wankanar of Gujarat.

Police recovered 20 duplicate ATM cards, Rs 2,000 cash and a car from his possession.

“Panchal had come to visit his relative in Kotharia Road of Rajkot, of which he had received a tip-off, leading to his arrest,” added Gohel. Incidentally, it was Gohel who had arrested Panchal in an ATM theft case in 2014.

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