- The robbery was perpetrated by a group of hooded youths who carried the Bitcoin ATM away while witnesses recorded the event on their cell phones.
- This is the first time that crime has affected a Bitcoin ATM in Spain.
- It is as yet unknown if the Catalan police have managed to identify or arrest any of the culprits.
Spanish police are investigating the theft of a Bitcoin ATM installed in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Barcelona, Spain. The gang that committed the robbery consisted of hooded youths who crashed their off-road car into the doors of the premises where the ATM was installed.
At approximately 3 a.m. on Friday 12th, the criminals violently broke into the scene, dislodging and carrying away a Bitcoin ATM. The felony occurred “a few meters from Turó Park, at number 6 Beethoven Street,” in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi neighborhood, reported local newspaper La Vanguardia.
At the time of the robbery, a number of locals in the area approached the location after hearing the vehicular assault on the building. Witnesses recorded both the crime and its perpetrators using their mobile phones.
As far as is known, this is the first time that a Bitcoin ATM has been robbed in this way in Spain. The singular event has the Mossos d’Esquadra (Barcelona’s police force) working on investigations with the aim of discovering the identity of the thieves, and subsequently apprehending them.
The images recorded by witnesses show several hooded figures placing the ATM in the trunk of their car. Though one of the assailants attempted to prevent witnesses from recording the incident, by spraying them with a fire extinguisher, the assault was nevertheless recorded.
On The Flipside
- Catalan journalist Anna Punsí published a video on her Twitter account in which the hooded figures can be seen carrying the Bitcoin teller.
According to the accounts of those present, the thieves fled in two high-end cars. At the time of writing, the identity of the crypto thieves is still unknown and is currently under investigation by local law enforcement. The police are summoning locals from the incident to give their accounts on the shocking event.
According to Coin ATM Radar, a company that is responsible for tracking the location of Bitcoin ATMs across multiple countries, there are currently 185 ATMs installed in Spain, which in itself is one of the European countries with the largest number of automatic BTC tellers.
In Barcelona alone, the number of Bitcoin ATMs already sits at 83, and so far, this is the first time that cybercrime has affected any of them.
Bitcoin ATMs are intended to allow users to buy and exchange cryptocurrencies for traditional money, either through the use of cash (e.g. euros & dollars), or through debit cards.
So far it is unknown what operations the police in Barcelona have carried out to capture the criminals, or if they have already made any arrests.
The Catalan police force, who are following the investigation, is reviewing the recordings from surveillance cameras in the area and inspecting the premises that were robbed. The amount taken from the bitcoin ATM has not yet been revealed.
Why You Should Care?
- The Sarriá-San Gervasio district of Barcelona is the fifth of the ten districts into which the city is administratively divided. It is one of the richest areas of the city as it has the highest income per capita, and the lowest rate of unemployment.