MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. – The holidays can be one of the most dangerous times of the year to be a Good Samaritan.
Officials with the Maury County Sheriff's Office said someone has been setting traps and making people targets this holiday season.
"Don't stop to help," said Captain Jimmy Tennyson with Maury County Sheriff's Department.
Tennyson said drives need to be aware when stopping to help a stranded motorist.
In the past week, officials said two people have been attacked and robbed in separate incidents when they stopped to help a seemingly stranded motorist. In both cases, the vehicle was parked by the shoulder of a rural road with lights flashing and the hood up.
The victims said someone jumped them from behind when they went to look under the hood.
"When a Good Samaritan stops to help and do the right thing- then they get a surprise," said Captain Tennyson.
He said those responsible tried to get someone else early Monday morning, but cautious motorists called in to report the suspicious vehicle.
"But at that point, by the time we got out to the location the car involved was gone," said Captain Tennyson.
His detectives plan to contact Rutherford County detectives to compare notes on another case. Two weeks ago, Jackie Warpoole, Jr. was found shot to death behind the wheel of his car on I-24 near Smyrna.
There are few leads on that case, but detectives said they think it's possible Warpoole had also stopped to help a stranded motorist.
At this point, investigators said it's impossible to know if the cases are related. They urge people to use caution when trying to help a stranded motorist. Police said the best bet is to call and report the person needing help to the local authorities and let them handle it.
Students in the Academy of Energy and Power at Maplewood are busy getting ready for next week's Project Expo and had the opportunity to show it off some of their projects to Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper.