Sheriff rounds up cattle thieves

Published 2:05 pm Friday, February 20, 2009

Cattle rustling isn’t a crime confined to the Old West, as the Butler County Sheriff’s Office found out earlier this week.

A week-long investigation yielded two arrests and the recovery of $28,200 worth of property that included 36 cows, three trailers, a shotgun, a riding lawnmower, tools and feed.

The first indication that something was afoot came last week when state investigators tracked blood from the stolen cows on the road from Montgomery County to Butler County.

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A key break came when the owner of the cattle remembered that a church along the route had a security system, so investigators were able to get an image of the trucks.

After further investigation, deputies located the cattle on Halso Mill Road, and Sheriff Kenny Harden got word that two suspects in the rustling had been arrested.

“I got a call from a Lowndes County state trooper that they had arrested two suspects for drugs,” said Harden. “We’ve got several charges, and we’re looking to make more arrests.”

Due to the ongoing investigation, names were not released.

Harden said it seems that cattle theft is on the rise.

“Based on what the Department of Agriculture investigators said, it’s picking up,” he said. “Some of these cows were stolen in August of last year, and we’ve got cows from three different victims.”

All but one of the cows have been identified as coming out of Lowndes and Montgomery counties.