News On 6 Story Helps Investigators Capture Cattle Theft Suspect
BRISTOW, Oklahoma - A Bristow cattle rancher is relieved to have most of his stolen cattle back.
Rancher Kelly Klaus said a thief stole ten head of cattle; but, thanks to a New On 6 story, they were found. Klaus said he’s happy and thankful an arrest was made.
Jimmy Manley is being held at the Creek County jail. Investigators said they arrested him in Sapulpa, where he works, and that he admitted stealing the ten cattle.
Klaus had a long day of rounding up his cattle, but now they're back in his pasture after being found at auction yards in McAlester and Fort Smith, Arkansas.
"They were sold and almost hauled away. When I picked them up today, they said in another 15 minutes they would have been on another person's farm," he said.
Klaus almost lost $35,000 worth of livestock – eight heifers and two steers – but the thieves’ trailer wasn't big enough to carry the ten cattle and had a blowout near Boynton.
Investigators said two neighbors stopped to help and were suspicious, knowing the trailer wasn't large enough to carry the heavy load.
They helped him patch the tire, and Manley went on his way. The same night, Klaus' story appeared on News On 6.
Klaus said, "One of their wives was watching the news that night and told her husband, ‘I think that guy you helped this morning could be the guy that stole the cattle.’”
The cattle had already been taken to auction to be sold. However, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture investigators said the neighbors took down the tag number, which led them to Manley.
"I never thought I'd see these cattle again," Klaus said.
He said one of his most valuable heifers is still running loose near Boynton. He believes she was let out to lighten the load.
"She's about 1,200 pounds. She has a white tag in her left ear that says 135," said Klaus.
He asks people in the area to be on the lookout.
Klaus said he did lose one steer in the trailer. He believes it fell down in the crowded trailer and couldn’t stand back up.
Klaus said he spoke to the owner of the Fort Smith Stockyard and was told Manley has been there many times over the past few months, selling cattle.
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture is continuing to investigate to find out if he's linked to other thefts.
Klaus said he also wanted to thank the Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association and Creek County Sheriff’s deputies for their help.
He said he hopes others learn how important it is to report cattle thefts quickly, so authorities have a better chance of recovering.