Couple robbed for $10,000 cash at gun point

Posted at 7:00 PM, Sep 22, 2014

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Mich. -- Four men from Ohio are in jail for allegedly robbing a couple of food vendors this morning, according to the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators said the men stole $10,000 in cash from a married couple. The couple made the cash selling food at the St. Joseph County Grange Fair which ended Saturday night.

This morning, the couple was in their RV when the men tied them up and robbed them at gun point, according to investigators.

“I travel. I’m cautious. I’m ready to die," Howard Watts, another vendor said.

Watts sells jewelry and said he’s traveled from Nashville, Tennessee to the St. Joseph County Grange Fair every year
for nearly two decades.

His trailer sits about 50 yards away from the one that got robbed. Watts said he hadn't heard the news until speaking with FOX 17.

He said he carries $300,000 dollars worth of jewelry in his RV. So he spent extra money securing his trailer with several locks.
If the security fails, Watts said, "Well, I carry a gun everywhere I go.”

“I’ve never had to use it, but I can and I will," he added.

But the St. Joseph County Sheriffs Department is contracted to keep watch, according to fair grounds manager Bill Johnson.

“At any one time there’s dozens of reserves, mounted patrol and sheriff’s officers on the grounds especially during fair week," Johnson explained.

Since the fair ended Saturday, patrols ended Saturday. However, some vendors remained and may have been a little more vulnerable.

Johnson said he’s in his 18th year at the helm and said security isn’t normally a problem, and not all vendors are easy targets.

“Most of our vendors that I'm aware of... obviously it is a cash business... do have accounts at local banks and so therefore, whenever possible, they do make those deposits in the local banks or institutions," Johnson explained.

Watts said he carries cash.

At the end of the day, Johnson feels the case will be open and shut.

“I would believe that once the truth comes out or once the investigation comes out, they’re going to find that hopefully this is an isolated situation that there’s nothing we could do about or the law enforcement," he said.

Investigators are looking into whether the men are tied to other crimes.