UPDATE - traders manage to keep their bitcoins

A COUPLE living in a village where Midsomer Murders was filmed were held at gunpoint in what is thought to be Britain’s first digital currency heist.

Four masked robbers broke into the converted barn in Moulsford, and reportedly forced a 30-year-old man and his 31-year-old female partner to transfer bitcoin funds while their baby was kept outside in a pram.

Officers are investigating the aggravated burglary, which happened at the home off Reading Road on Monday last week.

The break-in happened at the rented barn at about 9.40am and it is understood the raiders got in after kicking down a door.

Thames Valley Police said the offenders threatened the two men and a woman inside with what appeared to be a firearm and demanded one of the occupants to transfer bitcoins electronically to another account.

A force spokesman said a male victim was 'struck on the head but was not seriously injured during the incident'.

He attended the John Radcliffe Hospital and was later discharged.

Nothing else was taken during the incident.

It is understood the residents, who have since moved out, run a digital currency company and the man was an experienced broker who had carried out more than 100,000 online trades.

Benson and Cholsey county councillor Mark Gray said: “There was a huge police presence on the day – it’s very unusual to see that in Moulsford.

“As far as I’m aware the couple had not been living in the village for long – it’s shocking to hear a bitcoin robbery has happened here. It sounds like something that could easily be duplicated.”

Cryptocurrencies have been used by criminals because their trade is anonymous and they can be exchanged through online wallets and withdrawn as cash.

Bitcoin has experienced fluctuations in value - in September last year one bitcoin was worth £470 where as now it is just under £8,000.

Detective Inspector Ben Henley, of Force CID based at Abingdon police station, said: "We would like to speak to anyone who has any information about the incident or saw anything or anyone out of the ordinary in the area.

"If you saw anyone matching the descriptions of the offenders or any suspicious vehicles in the area please contact police.

"We are particularly interested in speaking to anyone travelling through the village on the A329 Reading Road between 7.30am and 10.30am on Monday, January  22 who has any Dashcam footage or anyone with mobile phone footage.

"People in the local community may notice an increased presence of officers in the area while our enquiries and patrols are ongoing. The investigation is in its early stages however initial enquiries suggest this may be a targeted incident.

"No arrests have been made at this stage and anyone with any information relating to the incident is asked to call Thames Valley Police."