DURHAM, N.C. —
Two men got inside a Durham home last week and, at gunpoint, forced a couple to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars of cryptocurrency to them, police said.
It happened just before 9:30 a.m. on April 12 at a Wells Street home.
Police said two men had handguns, used zip ties to restrain two 76-year-olds and forced them to transfer $250,000 worth of cryptocurrency to an unknown account.
Durham police are looking for a BMW X5 built between 2021 and 2023.
The couple had minor injuries and authorities took them to an area hospital.
“Anytime we’re dealing with a home invasion, they’re inherently violent,” said Durham police Sgt. Jermaine Clark.
Clark said this kind of crypto crime is rare.
“You probably could count on a hand how many times recently there have been cases … of this magnitude involving cryptocurrency,” Clark said.
Clark said while cryptocurrency – like Bitcoin – is difficult to track, everything is traceable.
“There are investigative tools that can be utilized to assist in recuperating those assets,” Clark said.
Police said while home invasions are also rare, they do happen.
Durham Police Investigator Christopher Walker said you should never open your door to someone you do not know.
“If somebody comes over to your house that you don’t know that’s coming unannounced, do your due diligence,” Walker said. “Ask for information, IDs, before you open any door to anybody that you don’t know.”
Durham police said it is still an active case, and they’re asking anyone with information to come forward.
Police say Ring doorbell cameras and other security systems are effective – along with community relationships. They say it’s important to check in with your neighbors and keep an eye on your surroundings.