Following last week’s story of a knife-wielding Michigan man threatening Amish, another strange incident out of the Wolverine State. It turns out parked Amish buggies (and their horses) are targets for thieves – at least for one individual in Sturgis (St. Joseph County). From The Sturgis Journal:
STURGIS — An Amish horse and buggy was recovered shortly after being reported stolen from the Sturgis Walmart parking lot Saturday.
The Sturgis Department of Public Safety was dispatched at approximately 5:30 p.m. to Walmart at 1500 S. Centerville Road on a report of a stolen Amish horse and buggy.
According to the report, the victims had gone into Walmart to shop. A truck driver parked nearby said he saw a woman take the horse and buggy from the parking lot. Police later in the evening located the horse and wagon parked in the 1200 block of East Chicago Road, and made contact with the suspect at a local motel.
The 31-year-old woman, whom police reported having contact with earlier in the day, was arrested without incident and lodged at the St. Joseph County Jail. Her name was not immediately released, pending arraignment on charges of larceny and larceny of livestock.
For the record this is what the buggy parking looks like outside of the Wal-Mart in Millersburg, Ohio:
It’s common for businesses in areas with significant Amish populations to have buggy-hitching and parking areas. The horse is tied up in a manner like that shown in the photo above. Sometimes horses can untie themselves. In fact, if not for the witness, I imagine this family would have assumed that’s what happened (as it did in one well-publicized case last year in New York).
But it’s not like you lock your horse up. Even though an Amish buggy can cost upwards of $10,000, and horses thousands more. I’m not sure what the black market resale opportunities are like for Amish horses, much less their buggies.
So who knows what the plan was here. Unlike stealing a car, your range and getaway speed are pretty limited. As noted, the police had had contact with the woman earlier in the day. I’m going to guess substances were probably involved here, because none of it makes much sense otherwise. The buggy and horse were returned uninjured to the family, who weren’t looking for a story like this to tell, but at least have one now.