Hooded Men Rob Bitcoin ATM in Barcelona: Did They Think they Would Get Bitcoins?

bitcoin atm
Source; Cointelegraph

In recent years, crypto-related crimes have become more prevalent in Spain. The theft of a Bitcoin ATM in Barcelona is the most recent incidence.

Local media in Barcelona reported on Friday that Spanish police are investigating the robbery of a ‘bitcoin ATM’. The thieves took away with the gadget during a raid on a cryptocurrency exchange outlet in a posh Barcelona suburb.

Bitcoin ATMs are self-service kiosks where anyone may buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with cash, e.g. Euros, dollars, or a debit card.  According to the Coin ATM radar website, Spain has the most crypto ATMs in Europe, with 158. The website tracks the location of crypto ATMs. Spain also has the fourth highest number of ATMs in the world, with 185.

Bitcoin ATM Theft

Woman in front of ATM for crypto currency.

The Mossos d’Esquadra police force in Catalonia said an ATM was stolen around 3 a.m. However, they did not disclose any additional information on the matter, in order to avoid obstructing the investigation.

The crooks stormed into the scene in a SUV, brutally dislodging and carting away a Bitcoin ATM. According to EFE news agency, which cited police sources, the robbery took place “a few meters from Turó Park, at number 6 Beethoven Street,” in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi area.
Beethoven Street is home to a branch of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) cryptocurrency exchange. But the GBTC has apparently declined to comment, and the police have also refused to confirm the robbery’s actual location.

After hearing the automobile assault on the building, a number of locals in the neighborhood approached the scene.  Witnesses were, therefore, able to use their cellphones to record the crime and the offenders at the time of the robbery.

The unverified video of the crime shows an SUV ramming into the locked shutters of the GBTC shop. Witnesses captured several hooded figures loading the cash machine into the trunk of a second car waiting on the street. As the two automobiles drove away into the night, one of the perpetrators splashed witnesses with a fire extinguisher to prevent witnesses from capturing the events. Nevertheless, the assault was filmed.

This is the first time a Bitcoin ATM has been looted in this manner in Spain, as far as we know. The Mossos d’Esquadra (Barcelona’s police force) is currently investigating the incident with the goal of determining the identity of the thieves and apprehending them.

Crypto Crime On The Rise

This is only one of the latest in a string of bitcoin-related crimes in Spain. A Spanish techpreneur reported a robbery was by few days ago. The victim, Zaryn Dentzel, is a co-founder of Tuenti which is a Spanish social network that has evolved into a communications enterprise owned by Telefónica.

He stated that four or five hooded individuals robbed him of millions of Euros in cryptocurrency from his Madrid home. They beat him up while blindfolding him and covering his home’s security cameras. The robbers then forced to reveal the password to an online account that stored tens of millions of euros in Bitcoin. The robbers, on the other hand, were unable to steal any of his cryptos.