Durham Couple Violently Robbed; $250K in Crypto Stolen

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Two men broke into a home in Durham, North Carolina with guns and forced the couple living there to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars in crypto to them. The men were armed handguns and allegedly used zip ties to restrain the pair.

Durham Is the Focus in New Crypto Crime

The man and the women were both around 76 years of age. They were forced into moving over $250,000 in digital currency funds to wallets controlled by the attackers. Police have issued arrest warrants for the men and say they are looking for their getaway vehicle, which is a BMW X5 built between 2021 and 2023.

The married pair sustained minor injuries and were taken to a local hospital after the ordeal was over. Durham Police Sergeant Jermaine Clark explained in a recent interview that crypto crime containing this level of violence is rare. Clark said:

Anytime we’re dealing with a home invasion, they’re inherently violent. You probably could count on a hand how many times recently there have been cases… of this magnitude involving cryptocurrency.

Clark also mentioned that while bitcoin and crypto are difficult to track, it’s not impossible, and he expressed confidence that his police staff will be able to locate the stolen units and return them to their rightful owners. Clark said:

There are investigative tools that can be utilized to assist in recuperating those assets.

Home invasions in the region of Durham are relatively rare, though they do happen on occasion, Clark further mentioned. Police investigator Christopher Walker said that the best way to avoid getting your home invaded is to refrain from opening the door to someone you don’t know. He said:

If somebody comes over to your house that you don’t know that’s coming unannounced, do your due diligence. Ask for information [or] IDs before you open any door to anybody that you don’t know.

He further advised getting security systems or doorbell cameras installed to ensure you can always see who is near your property. Lastly, you should have solid relationships with all your neighbors and community members so they can keep an eye on your home for you when you’re not around and report anything suspicious.

At the time of writing, the case is still ongoing. Police are asking for assistance from residents and requesting anyone with potential information to come forward and report it right away.

This Is Rare…

For the most part, crypto theft doesn’t occur through such physical or over-the-top means. Usually, attackers set their sights on wallets and exchanges and steal what they can, though scams (i.e., romance scams) have also become rather prominent over the last few years.

They’ll often take the form of fraudsters getting online victims to invest in digital currency platforms controlled by their criminal cronies.

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