US Police Seize $7 Million Worth of Stolen Mining Rigs

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  • The LAPD last week apprehended three individuals for allegedly stealing $6.9 million worth of Bitcoin mining hardware
  • They successfully recovered 608 ASIC mining machines and arrested the suspects, possibly the largest theft of Bitcoin mining units in history
  • Details about the theft and arrests remain scarce, but authorities have urged the public to provide relevant information regarding the case

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) last week arrested three individuals suspected of stealing Bitcoin mining hardware worth $6.9 million. The force’s Commercial Crimes Division’s Cargo Theft Unit successfully recovered the stolen items, totaling 608 ASIC mining machines, and arrested three individuals in connection with the crime, bringing an end to possibly the first, and certainly the largest, theft of Bitcoin mining units in US history. Little is known of how the units were stolen or who carried out the crime, but the units appear to be genuine Bitmain ASIC machines rather than any kind of counterfeit devices.

Three Arrested in Connection with Thefts

The arrests took place on March 19 when the LAPD, in collaboration with detectives from the Commercial Crimes Division’s Cargo Theft Unit, took three men into custody over the theft of the machines: 47-year-old Vardan Vardanyan, 36-year-old Vagarshak Vardanyan, and 34-year-old Samvel Pilovan.

Few details have been released about the arrests, for example, whether they were arrested as a result of a sting operation or later following a tip-off. The trio are facing charges related to the possession of the 608 bitcoin mining rigs are are currently being detained at a central LA jail awaiting legal proceedings.

Law enforcement authorities are urging the public to provide any relevant information related to the case. Visual evidence shared by the police includes images depicting a Uhaul truck loaded with boxes, a storage facility containing wrapped parcels, and a photograph showcasing a hydro-powered ASIC mining apparatus manufactured by Bitmain.

Theft of Bitcoin mining machines is incredibly rare and highlights the fact that the increased value of Bitcoin itself is having knock-on effects in the physical world as well as the digital.