Four teenagers were arrested over the weekend for a spree of robberies and baseball bat attacks against Amish of Geauga County, Ohio.
The youth targeted Amish businesses and Amish in buggies and “brutally beat” several Amish men, in incidents over the past week and perhaps earlier.
The first reported attack occurred June 22 or 23, with numerous reports of break-ins over the following days. In one of the first assaults, the attackers damaged a buggy (see photos) and caused minor injuries to their victims.
The assailants were described as “homeless and hungry”, and one expressed relief at being apprehended.
The suspects admitted to the church burglary and one suspect said he was relieved they were caught because they would now have a place to stay and food to eat, he said.
“They started breaking into Amish businesses in the middle of the night, and when the group would only get small amounts of money from their burglaries, the group decided to rob Amish people in the night in an effort to get cash,” he said. “They admitted to sleeping most of the day and go out at night after 11 p.m. and cruise the area. They couldn’t even name all of the businesses they broke into, they said there were so many they couldn’t remember.”
He added that many places may not have reported a break-in, and break-ins occurred in Geauga, Ashtabula and Trumbull counties since May.
Three of the suspects are from Middlefield (a town in the heart of the Amish settlement) and one from Cleveland.
“I think they were under the belief that the Amish would not report the crime,” said a police official.
A total of eight break-ins have been reported. Victims should contact the Geauga County Sherriff’s Office at 440-279-2009; 440- 564-7131; or 440-834-1858, ext. 2009.