HYDERABAD: The Telangana police's midnight stakeout of an apartment complex of 900 flats in Hyderabad to capture a group of bank robbers came to zilch Wednesday.
Some 300 security personnel drawn from the police and the crack anti-terror unit Octopus laid siege to My Happy Homes Palace, a rambling complex of nine blocks in Rajendranagar near Hyderabad, into the small hours of Wednesday.
At the end of a six-hour operation, they found that the bank robbers had slipped away. The Chevrolet Tavera they used in their failed bid to rob the Muthoot Finance office in Mailardevapally on Tuesday was found in the apartment's parking lot.
The operation began at 4 pm Tuesday when a watchman saw unfamiliar men trying to change the number plate of a vehicle in the parking lot. The gang fled when they knew they had been discovered. The watchman called the police who verified the CCTV footage of the residential complex and confirmed that the men were indeed the gang that tried to rob the bank.
Since the men were known to be armed, three teams from OCTOPUS were asked to join the effort to capture the gang. The search dragged on until 3.30 am Wednesday as 900 flats in nine blocks had to be searched.
The search did not yield anything but the police have reportedly taken two persons into custody for alleged links to suspects.
Police strongly believe that the men were the same guys who held up the bank at Mailardevapally, and perhaps had links with those who carried out a similar robbery at Muthoot Finance's RC Puram branch last year.
"We have specific information about the suspects who parked the vehicle at My Happy Homes Palace and took shelter there. In the RC Puram heist, we had detained an accused who had taken shelter in the same complex," a police officer said.
The Cyberabad police are hastening to grill those accused of carrying out the RC Puram heist in prison about Tuesday's incident.