BUTLER COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Authorities are searching for three gunmen who used a dangerous tactic to rob an elderly woman in Butler County.
Sheriff Kenny Harden says the victim was driving on County Road 50, also known as Honoraville Road, east of Greenville Wednesday when, around 11:15 a.m., the car in front of her suddenly stopped in the middle of the road. To avoid a collision, the victim was forced to stop her vehicle.
"She slammed on her brakes and three black males with masks on got out and robbed her at gunpoint," Sheriff Harden said. "As soon as she got stopped, they jumped out with their guns and held the guns on her and demanded her property."
Once the victim handed over her belongings, the suspects got back in their car and drove away. The victim was able to get help and notify authorities. Thankfully, she was not injured. Her name wasn't released for safety reasons.
The skid marks from her car were still visible on County Road 50 between Lifeway Ministries and the Pigeon Creek Bridge. That is a rural area and there are no homes in the immediate vicinity where the incident took place, just woods on both sides of the road.
"She was shook up pretty, bad but she was not injured. If there's anything good about this, it's that. But we do need help in finding out who these suspects are," Harden said.
Because the gunmen had their faces covered, detailed descriptions aren't available. They were driving a small silver or gray car, according to the sheriff's office.
"We're asking if anybody who was in that area about that time who may have seen anything to contact us. Anybody who almost causes an elderly lady to wreck and rob her at gun point, needs to come off the streets," Harden added.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Butler County Sheriff's Office at 334-382-6521. It's the first time the sheriff has seen this type of method used in a robbery.
"We've had people robbed before in vehicles, but in different ways. This is the first time I've seen where they would actually stop in the middle of the road where somebody could hit them so they were pretty brave to do that," he added.
Officials want motorists to be aware of what happened in case the suspects try to rob someone else the same way. In the meantime, investigators are working the case.
"If something like that happens, they should put their car in reverse and back up real quick.Try to get away from them. I do want our residents to know about this and that it could happen again until we get these people in jail," Harden stated.