Recent robberies at gunpoint target Amish community - WSMV Channel 4

Recent robberies at gunpoint target Amish community

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ETHRIDGE, TN (WSMV) -

Lawrence County Sheriff's Department officials said criminals are blocking people on country roads and holding them at gunpoint. What has the neighbors in Lawrence County especially upset is who's being robbed.

"They're very special," said Thomas Jaco, looking across his yard at an Amish buggy riding by. "We look after our neighbors, and they look out for us too."

The sound of horse hooves in the morning is just one reason Jaco has loved living in the Ethridge Amish country for 28 years.

"I put out a little cup, so they can water their horses," he said, walking through a field of flowers he planted. "I'm trying to get some bees back and help populate some of the Amish crops around."

Jaco said it's that love for his neighbors that's made what's happened so sad.

Capt. Adam Brewer of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department said three different times in Ethridge recently, a truck blocked the road in front of a buggy and a passenger robbed an Amish victim at gunpoint. Brewer said in one instance, the Amish victim ran away, and the robber fired a shot.

"They won't defend themselves," Jaco said. "They are easy prey. The soul that would rob an Amish person, I wouldn't want to be with them on judgment day."

Brewer said two of the robberies were on Oaks Road and Yoder Road where Jaco lives. Crews are still interviewing to find where the third robbery took place.

"Their life is at a slower pace, and someone has time to take what is theirs," Jaco said.

Sheriff's officials believe the robbers were possibly in a red late '90s or early 2000s Ford F-150. They're still working with the Amish community to get details on the robbers themselves.

Jaco hopes they just bring the money back.

"I imagine that's what the Amish would want, not to put somebody in prison but to save a soul," he said.

Sheriff's officials said targeting the Amish is not rare. Brewer said they've made many arrests of people who have burglarized guns and money from Amish homes in the area.

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