GEAUGA COUNTY -- Two Amish couples were robbed at gunpoint Sunday night as they walked along a country road.
The separate crimes happened within 17 minutes of each other on Patch Road, just north of the center of Parkman. In both incidents, young Amish couples were victimized.
A sketch of the gunman was prepared by the Geauga County Sheriff's Department with the help of one of the victims who said she got a good look at therobber and could identify him if she saw him again.
"Any time a weapon is used in a crime we take it seriously, very seriously," said Sheriff Dan McClelland. "It appears the Amish were deliberately targeted."
In the first robbery, a young couple was walking along Patch Road near Newcomb Road when a silver or whiteminivan pulled alongside them.
The man in the passenger seat pointed what appeared to be a shotgun and told the Amish man to toss his wallet into the van. He did and the van drove off.
Just 17 minutes later, another young Amish couple walking a little further west on Patch Road was victimized.
The same minivan pulled up on Patch, between Newcomb and Tavern Roads. The man in the passenger seat pulled a gun and demanded their money.
The young man and woman said they had no money, but gave the robber some cigarettes and a few other items, including a lighter, whichthe man had in his pocket.
Both victimized couples called the Sheriff's Department and were given a ride to meet with deputies and provide a description.
"If there's a perception that the Amish will not bother to report crimes, that wrong," said McClelland. "We have built a great, trusting relationship with the Amish who are an important part of our community."
The last victim described the gunman as aman about 35 to 40 years old, who was wearing a blue scarf on his head. She was able to get a good look at him because she shined a flashlight into his face.
The driver of the minivan was said to be wearing a black mask that covered everything but his eyes.
The Sheriff would like anyone who might recognize that man to call Detective Kelly at 440-279-2063, or email the detective at firstname.lastname@example.org. All tips will be kept confidential.