City financier turned cryptocurrency trader Danny Aston, 31, on Monday faced what could easily qualify as a living nightmare for many. In presumably the first ever bitcoin robbery in the United Kingdom, four armed men allegedly broke into Aston’s home, held his family hostage at gunpoint, and got away with millions of dollars worth of bitcoin.
Citing input from one of Aston’s neighbors, The Sun reports that the family is too scared to return to their upscale countryside home and is currently lodging with relatives in an unknown location. Aston, who also goes by an online nickname Goldiath, is the director of a company that trades in cryptocurrency from his $1,124,792 family home in Moulsford, Oxfordshire.
According to reports, police were called in at approximately 09:40 on Monday morning. As per initial investigations, the perpetrators forced their way into the property by kicking down a door.
Apparently, the robbers kept the couple’s baby outside in a stroller and tied up Aston’s partner Amy Jay, 30, before coercing him into transferring bitcoin. Each bitcoin token was roughly valued at just under $11,250 at the time of the heist. The gunmen fled shortly after robbing the couple, prompting the police to begin a manhunt. A police helicopter was deployed in a bid to spot the robbers, albeit without any success.
As a precaution, all nearby schools were put on lockdown. The cops are now trying to find any video evidence suggesting the presence of four suspicious males in the region during the wee hours of Jan 29, 2018.
Meanwhile, a woman has come out claiming that she might have seen the robbers. The Daily Mail reported on the only witness to come forth with information on the robbery:
“I saw four young men in black tracksuits with the hoods pulled up, crossing the road to the property where it took place. They were aged 18 to 25, dark-skinned and super-fit. They jumped over the fence on the other side of the road. I didn’t see any gun, but that’s what people locally are saying – and that the men wore balaclavas which I didn’t see either, just the hoodies pulled up.”
The authorities have informed the neighboring communities that there is likely to be an increased police presence in the area for the time being. While the investigations are still in the preliminary stages, there is clear evidence that it was likely a targeted attack.
No arrests have been made as of this writing, and the police are asking anyone with any information related to the crime to step forward and share the details with the Thames Valley Police Department on the non-emergency number 101 (UK) or with the Crimestoppers anonymously on 080-555-111.
Accounts of robberies and bitcoin-related crimes are on the rise as the cryptocurrency meets mainstream consciousness. While investors continue learning about online security and maintaining correct storage practices, there is always the threat of physical violence and armed coercion surrounding anything of value.