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Senior Contributor

Cattle thieves!!!

I heard tonight that a friend who lives nearby had 10 cattle stolen out of their pasture! She lives about 6 miles SW of town, and I live about 5 miles north of town. We're in the SE part of the county, and the sheriff told her it had been happening in the two counties to the south as well. 

 

Her husband could even see the tracks where they came in and loaded up the cattle. The sheriff said they suspect the thieves are selling them in Missouri, so now they're notifying sale barns and beef plants in Iowa and Missouri.

 

Nobody around here really brands their cattle, but I wonder if that's coming. If you have solid-color cattle like Angus, it would be pretty hard to identify them otherwise, since ear tags can just be removed.

 

This scares the heck out of me, for a lot of reasons. Those cattle are worth a lot of money. I would worry so much about the cows ... I know we take good care of them but someone who steals them wouldn't necessarily be so humane. And I would be so unnerved by the fact that someone came onto my property and stole from me ... right where my kids live!

 

It's just very unsettling!

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Honored Advisor

Re: Cattle thieves!!!

Lisa, the fact that you work from home now is one of the best ways to protect your stock. Having someone on the place most of the time is your best deterrent. Being too predictable is a probleM, as thieves scope put and make sure when no one is supposed to be home.

We have known farms here in NC where entire semi loads of top hogs have vanished...and these are proprietary genetics, so pretty
identifiable, and many are ear tattooed, so who is that bold???

Theft of all kinds is most definitely on the rise. The fact that law enforcement budgets, and thus their response and ability to trace and investigate crime, is a second factor that makes stealing so much easier to get away with now than in recent years.

I remember two incidents of theft of hogs on pasture when I was a kid. My father tracked both crooks down, and they were prosecuted.

This was many years before anyone ever heard of DNA...but, he had castrated one of the animals right before its was stolen on the
second incident. He kept those " mountain oysters" in the deep freezer for years, while the case was being appealed all the way to the VA Supreme Court. The conviction, which centered around identifying the pig, was upheld.

Livestock can usually be insured...might be a good question to ask your agent. I would be tempted to graze them where they aren't so easy to spot, if possible, but where you folks can keep a steady eye on things.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Cattle thieves!!!

I too am hearing more tales of thefts. Since iron and metal prices have risen, those thefts are growing too. I am even hearing about vegetables being taken from gardens. And then there is the copper thefts from repossessed homes.

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Re: Cattle thieves!!!

I overheard two men talking about someone stealing the wiring and pipes from an empty home...but, I think they were blaming the previous rental tenant.

Keeping an eye on everything you own every moment is, of course, impossible. I guess I am fortunate in a way that all of buildings that were ever on my two farms back home were razed for the mining. Mike's place has a lot of structures on it, but also has four households of people who ,ove in and out on vastly different work and play schedules.

Son did say he and his band do not like to play close enough to home for people to know they are out for several hours at a gig. May say something about their fans, I dunno....

Daughter who works for the big orange box told ,e they have been having all sorts of alerts to people who have stolen card numbers, made fake cards on machines for that purpose, and used them to buy mostly the store's gift cards. Evidently, they can fake the plastic part, but not the embedded electronic strip on the back.

The cards will not " swipe", so they hand them to the cashier to key in. They caught one in their store last week, but cannot detain the suspects, just have to notify the issuer to cancel the number.

When my credit card number was hacked last week, I was informed that this form of crime is off the charts right now, too. That has
made me a lot more attentive to checking our phone messages and watching my statement. Itz also make it a point to watch my surroundings more carefully, here and on the road.
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Re: Cattle thieves!!!

Lisa, I had heard out in your area..and two counties south that show steers were getting stolen!  One guy even had the nerve to steal from a cooler on a farm that he had recently visited!  (the steer he had wasn't turning out, so he took it to the sale barn and stole this one). Owner went to the guys farm and he was trimming it in a chute!  had DNA samples, so proof in the pudding.  Guy that stole it was from the next state.  I haven't heard of any cattle being stolen around here, I do worry though with our cows on another farm.  We do have alot of copper being stolen from flood houses and farms.  Also equipment comes up missing once in a while.  My brother said in Texas that thieves were taking the wire from the electrical/telephone poles and radiators and batteries out of tractors in the fields.  Yes it is getting scary.  We have been locking our machine shed when we are gone for a time, DH may even be locking it at night.  We have an outside dog in a kennel and she is pretty sensitive to noises.  Our Sam is getting older and doesn't wake up as easy as he used to..he relies on Belle (the outside dog) to let him know something is goin on!  I have heard that somewhere, somebody stole a piece of equipment and burned it and then took it to the scrap yard.  Guess you'd get scrap price anyway.

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Re: Cattle thieves!!!

I can't believe that "nobody brands here"...we ALL brand, keeps things easier. 

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Re: Cattle thieves!!!

I am guessing we'll start to see more and more people branding their cattle now.

 

In SW Iowa, they caught a couple of guys who were stealing the copper line out of irrigation equipment, and they're doing some time in the county jail right now.

 

This morning our power went out for a few hours, and honestly my first reaction (after, "Did I pay the bill?" LOL), was that I hoped someone hadn't cut our power to get into the pasture. Then I looked out the window and saw the tail end of a cow in the driveway. I threw on some clothes and ran out there, but it was, for once someone else's cow out ... a bull, actually. Our bull and cows were going BALLISTIC, so I chased the stray bull back toward his home and Jayson called the owner. We have wonderful neighbors (with one exception, LOL) who watch out for each other's animals, so that's also a very good thing.

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