Geauga County Amish Robberies

Unfortunately harassing the Amish happens often enough that it even goes by a few colorful terms such as “Amo-bashing”.  It can range from petty vandalism to verbal abuse to even assault.

A pair of recent incidents go a step further into felony criminal territory.  Two Amish couples in Geauga County, Ohio were held up a week ago in separate incidents on the same road.

The robbers probably thought the Amish would be easy targets.  And in a way they were right, since Amish aren’t going to be packing deadly weapons nor will they be inclined to fight back.

The downside to robbing the Amish is that you’re not going to come away with a lot of costly jewelry or drive off in an expensive set of wheels.  For their efforts these guys made off with a pack of cigarettes and one wallet.  Hope it was worth it guys.

They may have imagined the aloof Amish would remain quiet about the crimes.  But the idea that Amish aren’t going to report crimes is not necessarily true.  

As one of the Amish victim’s fathers says in the video below: “If they think the Amish people won’t report it and press charges, they’re wrong, because we will. They need to go to prison, and that’s what the government is here for, they’re ordained from God to prosecute the people who do wrong.”

I have to admit, I liked hearing something like indignation in his voice. Or at least sympathized with it. We may be non-resistant, but that doesn’t mean we have to take it from you.

Another thing: Amish may seem an easy mark, but it seems rather unwise to target them–especially if you are local.  News of this event had to be all over the community within 24 hours.  

I don’t know how accurate the sketch in the video is (these things always seem suspect to me, but I guess they’re the best you can do when you’re talking about a robbery in darkness), but you can bet that hundreds of pairs of Amish eyes will be on the lookout, not to mention the non-Amish ones (video removed).

The incidents occurred around 11 pm last Sunday (June 17) on Patch Road in Parkman. The couples were both walking on the road at the time (it sounds like they were probably both dating-age couples).  As of this posting, there is no news that the robbers have been found.  The Geauga County Sheriff’s Office phone number is (440) 279-2063.

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    1. Roberta

      While they may not be wearing expensive jewelry or driving a flashy car, the Amish are known to pay in cash so probably that’s all the robbers hoped to get. I’ve noticed because I have been warned never to flash cash when I go to the city — but it looks like the backroads are equally unsave nowadays.

    2. Paul A. B.

      “We may be non-resistant, but that doesn’t mean we have to take it from you.”

      Great way to put it!! Being non-resistant doesn’t negate one’s expectation of personal security and dignity. I hope they catch the criminal responsible.

    3. Lee Ann

      I feel for anyone that has been robbed. Its especially hard when they are teens dating and have to face something like this. Hopefully these couples had flashlights to help them identify who had robbed them.

      I hope they find who did this crime and arrest them soon. I myself always have to be on the watch as I am hearing impaired. I used my other senses in a way to protect myself when out alone.

      1. I think they did have flashlights Lee Ann, which I believe is how they got the sketch put together.

        When these types of crimes occur I often wonder if these people are local or outsiders. I don’t have any evidence but just have a hunch that they are probably people somewhat familiar with the Amish. Seems like they were able to catch the victims at an opportune moment, maybe knowing that Amish couples are out alone late on Sundays.

    4. Marilyn from NY

      I am glad the Amish called the police. I had always heard that the Amish don’t call the police very often. Sure feel sorry for the Amish couples. Hope they catch the guys that did this.

    5. I wonder if Jesus would call the cops???
      The story of Francis of Assisi comes to mind (here’s your Catholic story, Erik 🙂 as I remember it …).
      When he or his group was robbed, Francis told the others that the reason the robbers stole was probably because they were hungry. So he said they should take some food up to the robbers, which is what he did. They were, of course “blown away” that the guys they had just robbed sent them up some grub … and if I remember right, the leader of the robber band became one of Francis’ disciples.
      Now that I have just preached (around the bush) that we should not call down the civil authorities when we are robbed, maybe I’ll be the next one robbed. 🙁

      1. It seems the Amishman here sees it as law enforcement fulfilling their role in God’s order…?

        1. Well, I ummm, must confess I didnt watch the video to see how the Amish comes across. I think it safe to say that practically all Amish would see the role of civil government as taking care of evil in the world. It just gets fuzzy when a person should report evil to the authorities … is it a form of self-defense or revenge (no, no, I wont shoot the robber, but I hope the cop does! :-0 )?
          To be sure, it is a question I have pondered myself. If I see someone getting robbed (other than myself) I would feel more like I should report it so the evil can be stopped. But if they rob me, then I feel more like it becomes resisting evil with evil. Not sure how it all comes out … Please dont rob me now! I hope I could take the attitude of Francis of Assisi, but I know I would be tempted the other way. 🙂

          1. It is one of the harder things for me to grasp PC, especially with the gray areas as in the example you give.

    6. Lois Morgan

      Comment on Geauga County Amish Robberies

      Somehow, these (mostly) pacifist remarks remind me of the saying about the nice person and the lion: “Just because you’re a nice person doesn’t mean the lion won’t eat you.”

      1. Lions DO eat nice people! They “ate” Jesus. But the whole theology of Jesus was this: Dont overcome the lions by eating them first. Overcome them by letting them eat you … and then with a resurrection and extending the hand of forgiveness.
        Easy to say, hard to live. Lion’s teeth in your shoulder blade hurt. 🙁
        And of course it takes faith to believe that God will indeed do the resurrection for us. Obviously, we cant pull that off on our own.

    7. What would Jesus do?

      Our pastor says that making decisions based on “What would Jesus do?”
      is a misguided principal because we are not Jesus, and God’s plan for Jesus is not His plan for us.

      1. And THAT is the theological difference between Anabaptism (like the Amish)and mainstream modern Christianity.
        “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and DOETH them, I will liken him unto a wise man … And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and DOETH THEM NOT, shall be likened unto a foolish man.” Mt 7:24+
        And then Jesus tells of the end of those who DO NOT DO his sayings: “and great was the fall of it.”

        “Follow me …” was the gospel motif for the Anabaptists (and other groups through the ages). That is not to say that they did that perfectly, but that was the goal.
        Paul wrote, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection … being made CONFORMABLE unto his death.”
        When we die to self like Jesus did (which means no retaliation when wronged, for example) then we can experience his power.
        Ok, I better get off my soapbox and get some work done. 🙂

    8. Alice Mary


      Just a thought, similar to what Margie’s pastor said about “What would Jesus do?” being a misguided principle because WE are NOT Jesus, and God’s plan for us is not the same as his plan for Jesus.

      Wouldn’t it follow that if (and I don’t know that the Amish use that principle, WWJD) we try to live by those words, we’re being prideful in equating ourselves with Jesus/God, feeling that we have a direct, infallible link to Jesus’ mind, in that situation?

      Now, maybe if it were changed SLIGHTLY, to say, “What do I THINK Jesus MIGHT do?”, then we’re somewhat removed from assuming (pridefully) that we really KNOW what Jesus might think to do about a situation.

      Interesting line of thought. Thanks, Margie!

      Alice Mary

      1. Good thought, Alice Mary. In situations without precedence, we certainly have to find our way. But there are also some specific that Jesus clearly spelled out. As I heard one Anabaptist preacher say recently, we should not use WWJD, but rather DWJD (Do what Jesus did.)
        Oops, here I am getting on the soapbox again …. 🙁

    9. Just getting on Amish America a little late today, I’m really glad that these folks were not hurt at least physically anyway. But their trust may have been damaged and that’s a real shame but I wouldn’t blame them, and I hope they are caught fast! Richard.

    10. 1/7/10?

      Carolyn brought to my attention in an email the numbers 1/7/10 on the sketch…as this is a fresh story, I am assuming that is not a date, unless there was a mix-up. Does anyone know what those digits might stand for?

    11. Ed

      Interesting discussion. I always liked the St. Francis of Assisi story, essentially shaming the robbers with generosity. In the right situation, it could be incredibly effective. But I don’t see that these Amish could have done that — what else would they have given the robbers? And if there was violence or the threat of it, why call them back?

    12. Lois Morgan

      Comment on Geauga County Amish Robberies

      WEll, group, funny that this discussion should erupt right now. We just last week, discovered a marijuana grow being put into place right across our back fence. It is a large operation and includes Mexican workers who do not speak English(by the way) WE have contacted the law, code compliance, etc. and in doing that learned the man who recently bought the property is a sex offender out of compliance, since his listed address to buy the property is the number of the property which has no house on it.The address listed on his registration is in a different area. There are so many violations it’s impossible to list here. we take them up Pepsis now that they have nothing but water from the huge tank they put in today?
      I am a minister, so have tried to take lots of things into consideration here, but they are my most recent lions.

    13. Karen S.

      I would hope this would be considered a “hate crime ” in which case the investigation would/should be considerably more aggressive.

    14. Daryl

      One has an obligation as a law abiding citizen to report criminal activity. Evil people get away with evil when good people do nothing, however as a Christian one would not press charges.

    15. Christianity and the Law

      The Bible forbids vengeance but also tells us to obey and cooperate with our earthly government. I do not see a conflict with Christianity in going through legal avenues to protect ourselves, our rights and our neighbors from evil. That is not vengeance, it is self-preservation and protection of the vulnerable among us. If you are unsure what is right when dealing with a sex offender in your neighborhood, look into the faces of your innocent neighbors. I think you will find the answer there.

      1. Valerie

        You are correct Margie, Biblically

        We can forgive the avenger but at same time, the Bible teaches about why we have governing authorities-taking the right legal steps doesn’t mean you harbor unforgiveness in your heart-this is where I sometimes feel the Anabaptists don’t necessarily have this right although claim mainstream Christianty has it wrong-but the Bible teaches whom the Lord loves He disciplines-PLUS, it may end up actually HELPING the avenger change (as one purpose of punishment is) and also, protect more innocent people is also seen as loving others by helping protect them from the evildoer.

        Romans 13:1-5 is scriptural support of legal action in these cases (one of several scriptures)-When we’re raising children, we lovingly discipline them-it’s not unforgiveness that would cause one to notify the police.

        “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.”

        But applying mercy, if we have something to do with the outcome, is also to be applied from my understanding of scriptures.

    16. Don Curtis

      Crime against the Belle Center Amish

      Mark was just telling me, today, of an incident that took place last week in his community. A man walked into Troyer’s Engine Shop. It is an Amish owned small engine shop where Mark works part-time. He wasn’t there when this happened. Seems, this man walked into the store. Daniel Troyer, the owner, asked him if he could help him. The man said he was just looking. Daniel stepped into the back for a few seconds to use the restroom. Came back out and this man was starting to drag a generator to the door. Daniel asked him what he was doing, etc. The guy just kept right on going. Daniel said, “Hey, you haven’t paid for that!” Guy kept right on going. Got to his car, lifted the trunk lid, hefted the generator into the trunk, got in the passenger seat and they took off. There were two other men in the car waiting. Now, is that bold as brass or what?

      1. Wow Don, that really churns the stomach. Any idea if they gave law enforcement a ring? Sorry to hear about it.

    17. Juanita Cook

      I wish they’d turn all those crooks in when they steal from the Amish. It is so sad that people have to steal things from others. Does not give the English a very good name does it? They pick on the Amish hoping, thinking or knowing they won’t be turned in for their crime. But they still have to answer to God for all the wrong that they do. So their day will come.

    18. Mark

      Hope all is well.

      I hope all is well with this family. Sad to hear of such an event taking place and we should praise the Lord they were not harmed!

      “Vengeance is mine sayeth the LORD.”

      We do NOT take revenge. We are humans and in this fallen flesh. God is holy and just and will reward and punish as He see’s fit. Wrath is pride when done by humans. The civil authority has been put in place by God for His purposes and the family did a good thing by reporting the crime. I shall pray for them.