Crypto

Elderly couple in North Carolina held hostage, robbed of $156K in cryptocurrency

Two people have been arrested and another is still under investigation for the crime

Federal prosecutors say two armed suspects held an elderly North Carolina couple hostage in their home and threatened to “cut off (the) husband’s toes and genitalia, to shoot him, and to rape his wife” before stealing over $156,000 in cryptocurrency.

According to prosecutors, while posing as construction workers, Elmer Ruben Castro and Remy Ra St. Felix drove to the couple’s home in Durham on April 12 at around 7:30 am, claiming they had to inspect their pipes for damage, according to the unsealed federal criminal complaint. A third man accused of finding the victims, Jarod Gabriel Seemungal, was also named as a suspect.

According to the complaint, the men cased the house for three days before the home invasion after traveling from Florida to North Carolina to commit the theft.

Armed with handguns, Castro and St. Felix allegedly restrained and zip-tied the couple. The complaint says the wife was then dragged into the bathroom and confined by Castro. Felix then reportedly made the husband log into his Coinbase cryptocurrency wallet.

Prosecutors said while talking to Seemangal on the phone, Felix was coached on instructing the husband to transfer the crypto from his account. Seemungal apparently knew details about the husband’s account, leading prosecutors to believe it was already compromised. The men then allegedly made three transactions over the following 45 minutes to steal $156,853, with a fourth transaction flagged and denied by Coinbase.

The couple later made their way to a neighbor’s house to get help. According to WRAL TV in Raleigh, the couple was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Seemungal and St. Felix will be charged with kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and arrest warrants were issued on Thursday. The criminal complaint for Castro wasn’t yet listed.

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