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Rogers County Cattle Thieves Butcher Calves On Rancher's Property

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Investigators and rancher Ryan Payne are pictured on Payne's property. Investigators and rancher Ryan Payne are pictured on Payne's property.
Special Ranger John Cummings takes photos of the evidence. Special Ranger John Cummings takes photos of the evidence.
Cattle thieves butchered two Black Angus calves, taking the meat and leaving a mess. Cattle thieves butchered two Black Angus calves, taking the meat and leaving a mess.
Rancher Ryan Payne lost two cattle, time and money. Rancher Ryan Payne lost two cattle, time and money.

Craig Day, News On 6

ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma -- Special Rangers and deputies in Rogers County are investigating another case of cattle theft. In this case, the thieves actually butchered the cattle right on the spot. 

When Ryan Payne went to check his cattle Sunday evening, he made a shocking discovery.

"I found two gut piles where two of my animals had been killed, and one missing," said rancher Ryan Payne.

Payne recently bought property near Foyil with plans of cleaning it up. Right off the bat, someone killed two of his 400-pound Black Angus calves, leaving a mess behind. 

"I've never had my animals butchered like that," he said.

Cattle prices are high, and thefts are up, but thieves butchering animals on the spot makes this case out of the ordinary.

"The butchering of calves now a days is pretty rare, because it's a lot easier to take them, get them to a sale barn in a few hours generally. And get them sold," said Special Ranger John Cummings.

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers' Association Special Ranger John Cummings says because of the work it takes to slaughter cows, several people are likely involved and are likely from the area.

"One way in, one way out - so it's back here," Cummings said at the scene. "It's somebody, in my opinion that it's somebody that is comfortable with the area, that kind of knows the area, either has knowledge of the place or has been on the place in years past."

Investigators suspect the thieves will likely use the meat for their own consumption.

"The people we deal with on a day to day basis are thieves and thugs that the economy and working a job just doesn't figure into their lifestyle, so they're parasites and predators on people that make their living by working," said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.

"You've got a lot of feed in them, and a lot of energy and time that's gone," said rancher Ryan Payne, who had two calves butchered on his property.

While Cummings and the Rogers County Sheriff's Office document evidence and pursue leads, Payne is left frustrated and wanting justice.

"It's shocking, real shocking that something would happen like that," he said.

Anyone with information that could help in the case is urged to call the Rogers County Sheriff's tip line at 918-341-3620 or Operation Cow Thief at 1-800-242-7820.

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