The attack by a woman and two men happened after dark Friday on Smithford Road in Hickory Grove, Tolson said. The female suspect knocked on the victims’ door and claimed she had car trouble, Tolson said. The man at the home opened the door and offered to help the woman, Tolson said. The male suspects were lying in wait outside with guns. They attacked the man outside then smashed the door and attacked the woman inside the house, Tolson said.
The suspects demanded to know where the couple kept valuables then fled in the couple’s car after stealing items from the home, deputies said. The car was later found by police after it had been abandoned along the side of a nearby road, officials said.
No arrests have been made.
“This is a violent, terrible crime where the victims were traumatized and hurt,” Tolson said. “The man of the house was lured outside, then both he and his wife were assaulted. This is a home invasion of the worst kind, where the kindness of people was compromised.”
The male victim is 75 years old; his wife is 72. The Herald is not naming the victims or reporting the address of the crime to protect their safety.
The case is being investigated as a kidnapping, armed robbery, and burglary, according to a sheriff’s office incident report obtained by The Herald.
Hickory Grove is a small town of a few hundred people west of the town of York. There were no other similar incidents nearby and deputies believe the victims were somehow targeted, Tolson said.
Since the Christmas Day crime, deputies have increased their presence in the rural areas near Hickory Grove, Sharon, and Smyrna, Tolson said.
“In today’s world, we all have to be more guarded,” Tolson said. “If anyone has a stranger come to the door at night, they certainly can call law enforcement to ask for someone to come out and check it out.”
The Christmas crime sent shock waves through the small, tight-knit Hickory Grove community. Hickory Grove Volunteer Fire Department Chief Kenny Gilfillan said the victims are people who have been in the community for years and are well-known and loved.
“This has really shown that it might not be safe for people to answer their doors to strangers anymore,” Gilfillan said. “I know that if any of my neighbors called me and said a stranger was at the door, I would head right there.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 803-628-3059, or through the sheriff’s office Web site or social media.