Sturgis, Michigan, may not have the international name recognition that its South Dakotan namesake offers, but the small town recently made the news with an odd story that would be a better fit for the rowdier and more popular motorcycle paradise. An Amish horse and buggy were recently stolen from the town’s Walmart.
The buggy’s owners entered the Sturgis Walmart last weekend, and a short while later, the town’s Department of Public Safety received a call reporting that the buggy, and the horse pulling it, had been stolen. A witness said he saw a woman take the horse and buggy, but she didn’t make it far. Police found the rig a few blocks down the road and located the suspect in a local motel. They’d already had contact with her earlier that day; she’s been charged with larceny and larceny of livestock.
The uninjured horse and buggy were returned to their owners, but the comedy of this scene can’t be understated. Even in a town like Sturgis, which is located near the Indiana border and a thriving Amish community, it’s not like stealing a horse and buggy would be an inconspicuous crime. And if you thought a manual transmission was a deterrent to car theft, it’s not surprising that an inexperienced buggy driver didn’t get very far.
The number of vehicle thefts has been at alarming levels for a few years now, especially for a few specific car brands. That said, a thorough scouring of the internet reveals that horse and buggy thefts were far more common in the 1800s, with only a handful of such incidents found online today. While criminals don’t always act rationally, it appears the vast majority realize that feeding and caring for a horse and plotting an escape at suboptimal speeds are not the best ways to get away with a crime.