Two women have been arrested for their role in a home invasion that was precipitated by the opening of a Bitcoin account.
Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts enjoy the Wild West nature of the ecosystem. The lack of a centralized authority and wide-open economic choices are beguiling features, but there are times when the crypto space becomes too much like the lawless frontier of yesteryear. Over the last year, there have been quite a few violent criminal attacks due to the presence of cryptocurrency. In the latest case, two women from Rhode Island have been arrested for a home invasion that has a Bitcoin connection.
Anger Over a Bitcoin Account
The home invasion took place in Killingly, Connecticut, back in March. At that time, a woman renting the home where the attack took place opened a Bitcoin account in the name of one of the attackers, Monique Delannoy-Jodoin, aged 59.
Apparently, a dispute arose over the account, and Monique Delannoy-Jodoin felt that money had been stolen from her concerning the account. She and 38-year-old Beatriz Viruet then decided to regain the “stolen” funds, along with the needed passwords, by staging a home invasion.
The two women forced their way into the home and were armed with a handgun and an electric cattle prod. The cattle prod was used on one occupant of the home, and another occupant was pistol-whipped. The renter managed to barricade herself in the bathroom and then flee to a neighbor’s house.
During the home invasion, one of the attackers allegedly told the other to “shoot the victims.” Nobody was shot, but the two Rhode Island women stole cell phones, money, and a television before escaping.
Now the two suspects have been arrested and face a host of charges. Beatriz Viruet is being charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree breach of peace, and home invasion. According to the news report, Monique Delannoy-Jodoin is being charged with:
…risk of injury to a child, home invasion, third-degree criminal mischief, sixth-degree larceny, first-degree robbery, second-degree breach of peace, criminal use of a weapon, second-degree assault with a weapon, five counts of first-degree threatening and four counts of second-degree reckless endangerment.
Cryptocurrency Can Be Dangerous
Sadly, this case is not singular when it comes to armed criminals and cryptocurrency. Not too long ago, the ringleader behind the kidnapping of a man to gain the password to his crypto wallet was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.
Back in February, a man and his friend were assaulted in Taiwan during a supposed deal to sell Bitcoin. A gang of four men attacked the victim and his friend once the criminals verified that the victim had access to his crypto wallet and then forced the victim to transfer roughly $170,000 in bitcoins.
Probably the most frightening crypto crime took place in the U.K. when armed criminals burst into the home of a Bitcoin trader back in January. The trader and his wife were held at gunpoint and their baby placed outside. The trader was forced to transfer his funds, and the criminals ran away. Luckily, no one was harmed.
Just because cryptocurrency is virtual and is locked away behind passwords does not mean that one is safe from violent attack. It’s always wise to refrain from bragging on social media (and in real life!) about how much cryptocurrency you currently possess. Also, if you’re meeting someone face-to-face to buy or sell crypto, make sure it’s done in a public space that’s filled with people. You should also never go alone to such a meeting. Overall, such violent attacks are rare, but they do happen.
Have you been the victim of a Bitcoin robbery? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of the Norwich Bulletin and Shutterstock.