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When it comes to news about some sort of online theft, one can easily expect Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency to be involved especially due to the anonymity that digital currencies offer their users. However, unlike most other thefts in which the actual Bitcoin is stolen, a unique armed robbery happened in a shop in Northampton, England, when masked robbers attempted to rob the Bitcoin ATM that was installed in the store.
How did this robbery take place?
This was no random Bitcoin theft. In fact, the thieves had analyzed the shop as well as the surroundings extensively before attempting to rob the ATM. On March 12th at 8:30 PM, three armed thieves went to the Costcutters shop on St Leonard’s street with the intention of robbing the Bitcoin ATM that was installed inside the shop.
Amongst the three thieves, one stayed outside in order to alert the other two in case of the arrival of the police. These thieves waited for the right moment to go into the shop and made sure that the shop hardly had any customers in it. One of the two thieves who went inside started to threaten the shop owner with a machete while the other used his sledgehammer to break the ATM from the wall.
Once the ATM came off, the three ran along with it. Since all three thieves were wearing masks, it was not possible to identify any of them. The ATM converted fiat currency into virtual Bitcoin. With its access, the perpetrators can convert all the fiat currency that they have into Bitcoin. Thus, leaving zero trails of money behind.
The spokeswoman of Northamptonshire police reported that all of the three intruders were wearing masks. While the two armed men wore black balaclava, a jacket and joggers, the one who kept a watch outside wore a grey mask and grey jacket.
By going in during the lesser rush hours, the masked men have managed to escape with exactly what they wanted. With the currency conversion ATM with them, they will now be able to convert all their fiat currency into anonymous Bitcoin. The full extent of this loss is unknown; apparently, it all depends on the total Bitcoin balance in the conversion ATM.
Why did the armed men go for the Bitcoin ATM?
Bitcoin has done marvels in recent years. By audaciously attempting to replace fiat currency, Bitcoin has managed to announce its significance to the world. The only downside to a decentralized digital currency is the threat it poses to individuals who possess it. As this currency is virtually untraceable, thieves can easily get away when managing to steal someone’s Bitcoin. This is exactly what the robbers on St Leonard’s street aim to do.
It is clear from their clinical work that this is not their first time robbing someone. Most probably, these men had previously robbed someone of a lot of fiat currency and there is no risk-free way to use this unless they had their own currency converter which converted the fiat currency into Bitcoin.
Now that these men have the ATM, they can start converting all the fiat currency and start using Bitcoin without getting caught. However, the threat does not end just there, as these men have complete access to the ATM, they can also do this repeatedly by simply reusing the fiat currency that they just converted. Thus, having the limit of the maximum supply that was in the wallet of the ATM.
Thefts are common both in the centralized and in the decentralized world. However, the odds of getting away with this in the crypto world is a whole lot easier due to its anonymous nature. This theft is a wake-up call for all Bitcoin ATM companies out there to implement a kill switch in their ATM in case of such a heinous crime is committed.