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N.C. Couple Lose Crypto Worth $156,000 to Home Robbers

In a harrowing incident, an elderly couple from North Carolina endured a nightmarish ordeal when armed assailants held them captive in their own home. The criminals, disguised as construction workers, targeted the innocent couple, threatening them with unspeakable acts of violence.

Remy Ra St. Felix and Elmer Ruben Castro, the alleged culprits, arrived at the couple’s residence in Durham on April 12, 2023, at 7:30 a.m. disguised in reflective vests and khaki pants and pretending to inspect pipes for damage. The couple, both in their seventies, were led to believe that the strangers were merely conducting routine checks on their property.

Trusting the façade, they allowed St. Felix and Castro to walk around the premises. Soon after, the menacing duo returned to the door and, without warning, forced their way inside, overpowering the couple and restraining them.

Castro dragged the terrified wife into the bathroom, threatening unspeakable acts of violence such as rape and cutting off the husband’s genitalia and hands. Meanwhile, St. Felix took control of the husband, leading him to the home office, where he coerced him into accessing his Coinbase cryptocurrency account.

The alleged criminals had meticulously planned their crime, traveling from Florida to North Carolina. They had been surveilling the couple’s residence for several days, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. They were also well-informed, indicating that the husband’s account might have been compromised earlier.

Under duress, the husband was coerced into transferring a staggering $156,853 in cryptocurrency over the course of 45 minutes in three transactions. The fourth transaction was, however, flagged and prevented by Coinbase, thwarting the criminals’ complete financial gain.

The police report states that the two robbers were assisted by a third man, Jarod Gabriel Seemungal, who was on the phone with St. Felix, instructing him on what to do.

Before making their escape, the men destroyed the couple’s phones and computers and left them tied together in their bathroom. Thankfully, the couple managed to reach a neighbor’s house for assistance. They suffered minor injuries during the ordeal and were taken to a hospital for medical attention.

Investigations by the authorities revealed damning evidence against the criminals. Phone records exposed their sinister plans, and it was discovered that they had personal information belonging to the husband, including his driver’s license and license plate number.

Arrest warrants were issued for Remy Ra St. Felix and Jarod Gabriel Seemungal on charges of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Elmer Ruben Castro’s criminal involvement was not listed in the complaint at that time.

Such incidents suggest that industry actors such as Bit Digital Inc. (NASDAQ: BTBT) need to keep improving their security systems so that cybercrimes of this nature are reduced.

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