A New York City man was robbed at gunpoint for $1,100 worth of bitcoins last Friday, the police reported last week. The 28-year-old man was meeting another individual after he was contacted through a Craigslist ad to buy the virtual bitcoin currency for cash.
Around 11:30 a.m. on May 27th in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn the street-cyber robbery occurred.
The unnamed victim told police he had went to a street corner where he was instructed to meet man who had answered his Craigslist ad offering bitcoin in exchange for cash. After meeting the buyer, the thief led him to his car to complete the transaction when another man in the backseat pulled a gun, ordering the 28-year-old victim to transfer the $1,1000 worth of bitcoins to the thieves wallet, law enforcement told CNBC.
After the criminals had stolen the bitcoins, they stole the victim’s phone and proceeded to drive off, where the victim then called 911.
“It’s still under investigation,” a spokesperson for the New York City police department said, adding that there is no video surveillance of the digital transaction occurring.
In February, the New York Observer reported a similar story of a bitcoin dealer named Dean Katz, who had also described how he had been robbed at gunpoint by two men who had agreed to meet in a public spot to buy the bitcoins. Katz met the man and proceeded to his car where Katz was forced at gunpoint to transfer $8,500 worth of bitcoin and fork over $3,500 worth of cash to the criminals.
The case had been shelved since, til New York police gave additional details just last week on how the January 22 robbery played out. Katz met the man and entered a car containing another man at around 1:50 a.m. “He was held at gunpoint and the suspects requested his Samsung phone and money,” police said.
Katz was then forced out of the car where the two criminals sped off with his money.
No arrests have been made from Katz scenario, but it seems the same criminals are going around robbing victims of their anonymous bitcoin cryptocurrency.
Katz spoke out saying he had heard of other bitcoin traders being robbed of their digital currency at gunpoint, as well as people trying to use counterfeit cash to buy bitcoin.
Bitcoin is an anonymous cryptocurrency that is based off a a decentralized peer-to-peer infrastructure. Money, or the currency, is held in digital wallets assigned a simple ID with no personal information attached. This allows people to make completely anonymous transactions with no trace to the original bitcoin holder.
A bitcoin robbery is a perfect scenario as the transactions are completely anonymous and no one knows who the wallet holders are.