Criminals have taken a major liking to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In most cases, their attempts to illegally obtain such currencies are linked to online activity. Ransomware, hacking, and data breaches are just a few examples of Bitcoin-related criminal activity. In Ottawa, however, things recently went a bit differently. Three individuals there attempted to rob a Bitcoin financial institution earlier this week. It is a very disturbing development, even though the perpetrators left empty-handed in the end.
Bitcoin Robbery at Gunpoint
In a way, no one should be surprised to learn that criminals are becoming more brazen when it comes to stealing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This is especially true when it comes to cybercrime, but it seems we also have a trickle-down effect in the real world right now. In Ottawa, three individuals attempted to rob a Bitcoin financial institution in broad daylight. Four employees of the company were held at gunpoint, while a fifth was able to alert the police.
It is unclear who the three individuals are exactly, even though one suspect has already been arrested. There is a photo on Twitter taken from a passing vehicle that shows the ongoing manhunt. It’s good to see law enforcement authorities immediately jump on this case, as a robbery at gunpoint should never be taken lightly. It is unclear which Canadian firm was affected, though.
Surprisingly, the one suspect in custody is only 19 years old. The police quickly slapped several charges on this individual, including robbery with a firearm, wearing a disguise, and forcible confinement. If all of these charges stick, the individual could face a very long period in jail. It is unclear what drives people at such a young age to attempt to rob a Bitcoin institution in broad daylight and hold people at gunpoint. It also seems one of the company’s employees was hit in the head but did not sustain any major injuries.
Even though this robbery took place on Tuesday, there was a large police presence near the scene of the incident on Wednesday as well. A lot of local businesses and startups are extremely worried to see events like this one transpire, especially when taking the gunpoint aspect into account. This shows how bold some criminals become when it comes to obtaining money, and it also sets a very dangerous precedent for any companies involved in crypto.
For the time being, the manhunt for the other two suspects is ongoing, and local police plan to speak to a person of interest in the coming days. That particular individual was inside the firm’s Bitcoin operations building when the three suspects arrived. Whether or not he or she played a role in this robbery remains unclear at this point in time. Additional evidence was collected from the scene on Wednesday, but it remains unknown if that turned up any solid leads.
We can only hope this is the first and last time such a Bitcoin-related armed heist occurs. Although the culprits were unsuccessful in their attempt to obtain money, it is not unlikely we will see similar incidents in the future. It will be interesting to see what this investigation turns up in the coming days and weeks. These culprits need to be brought to justice in one way or another, as this type of activity is absolutely unacceptable. No one got hurt this time, but there’s no guarantee that future incidents will end the same way.