Bitcoin crossing

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Armed robbers broke into a house in a wealthy Home Counties village and forced a cyber-currency trader to transfer a fortune in Bitcoin to them on his computer. Four thugs in balaclavas broke into the house, which is owned by trader Danny Aston and his wife, Amy Jay. They tied up Ms Jay and put the couple’s baby outside in a pram, before threatening Mr Aston with a gun and forcing him to transfer his Bitcoin into their control. The target of the robbery on Monday morning was a trader in the Oxfordshire village of Moulsford, where several episodes of Midsomer Murders have been filmed. Bitcoin is favoured by criminals because it cannot be tracked by government officials, making it extremely difficult to track down the raiders. It exists only in cyberspace and can be exchanged anonymously at the click of a mouse and then exchanged for normal money.

Horrified staff and children were locked inside a nearby independent school, Cranford House, as police deployed a helicopter to track the suspects while detectives quizzed locals and trawled through their bins for clues. 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 either, just the hoodies pulled up. It was a strange time for them to choose because there are always so many parents coming and going directly opposite.

I’d be amazed if more people didn’t see them. The village is in a real state of shock right now. For something like this to happen here is terrifying. Moulsford and said they believed the property was targeted. Crypto-currency experts said the growing attention around Bitcoin could encourage other criminals to use similar tactics.

These are criminals who have likely caught on to the current popularity of Bitcoin. But depending on how much they have, these coins are like being in possession of a rare painting. Trying to exchange large amounts for normal money without alerting suspicion will be very difficult. Officers were called at about 9. 40am to a report that offenders had entered a residential property off Reading Road and threatened the occupants. No one was seriously injured during the incident. The National Police Air Service helicopter was deployed to this incident.