Police are appealing for help in tracking down a gang of armed men who reportedly forced a cryptocurrency trader to transfer them a fortune using his computer.
The Mail on Sunday reported that the trader was targeted by four robbers who tied up the man’s wife and placed the couple’s child in a pram outside before threatening him with a gun.
It is believed to be the first attack of its kind in the country.
The heist took place at the family’s property near independent school Cranford House in the Oxfordshire village of Moulsford, where staff and children were locked inside for their own safety as police searched for the suspects.
A mother of one of the school’s children told The Mail on Sunday: “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.”
A police spokesperson confirmed that officers were called at roughly 9.40am to a report that offenders had entered a residential property and threatened the occupants.
“No one was seriously injured,” the police spokesperson said. “The National Police Air Service helicopter was deployed to this incident.”
“Officers are particularly interested in speaking to anyone travelling through the village on the A329 Reading Road between 7.30am and 10.30am on Monday who has dashcam footage, or anyone with mobile-phone footage.
“People in the local community may notice an increased presence of officers in the area while our inquiries are ongoing. The investigation is in its early stages, however initial inquiries suggest this may be a targeted incident.
“No arrests have been made at this stage and anyone with any information relating to the incident is asked to call Thames Valley Police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Bitcoin, which was trading at £7,950 on Sunday, is often used as a means of exchange by parties which want to evade a central authority’s ability to block transactions – including criminals.
But the cryptocurrency does not guarantee anonymity – all Bitcoin transactions and locations are tracked and are publicly available information due to the technology underpinning the currency.