A Canadian peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange has fallen victim to a failed heist attempt. The incident occurred at Canadian Bitcoins, a business located in the Nepean area of the city of Ottawa.
According to reports in the Ottawa Sun, three armed suspects gained entry to the Concourse Gate property out of which the company works. Those storming the building were armed with handguns. Police state that the suspects tied four employees up and attempted to coerce them to complete a Bitcoin transaction to an address provided by them.
One of the victims is said to have needed medical attention, resulted by an attack by one of the suspects using the butt of a handgun. However, a fifth employee who the suspects were unaware of was able to alert the authorities. This caused the gang to flee.
Whilst there were few other witnesses to any of the on goings of Tuesday morning, one employee of a company a few doors from the Canadian Bitcoins’ office states that he saw police cars quickly descend on the scene at the time of the heist. They are reported to have responded with guns drawn.
Of the three suspects, one was spotted by officers running into a nearby ravine. They called for backup and quickly made an arrest. However, the other two members of the group are still at large.
The one suspect in custody is known as Jimmy St-Hilaire, 19. He was due to appear in court on Wednesday on various charges. These include five counts of robbery, pointing a firearm and forcible confinement, plus wearing a disguise, and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. In addition, he faces charges of carrying a concealed weapon, as well as having a loaded gun when banned from carrying firearms.
Police are also appealing to a “person of interest” who was inside Canadian Bitcoins at the time of the heist. They also spent Wednesday morning searching for a gun that was used in the attempted robbery.
Meanwhile, for those hoping to use the services of Canadian Bitcoins, a message was posted on the door of their offices. It stated that the company would remain closed until January 28 at noon. It went on to state that all online services remained unaffected.