Investigators say a cattle rustler tried to get away with thousands of dollars’ worth of livestock.
The incident happened on a Pittsburg County ranch where 90-year-old John Cook and his wife have invested a lot of time and money.
"I love the cattle business," said John.
This week, their livestock was threatened by a suspected cattle rustler.
"I mean this guy was just gonna steal anything he could get his hands on," said Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Chief Agent Jerry Flowers.
Flowers said Robbie Robbins planned to steal and sell John's cattle.
But Flowers said when Robbins approached a potential buyer, that buyer knew something wasn't right.
"They couldn't be sold anywhere around the McAlester area here in Pittsburg County and they also had to be loaded up in the middle of the night," said Flowers.
So the buyer tipped off agents.
They stepped in, acted as if they wanted to buy the livestock and set up a sting.
"My agents pull up in the middle of the night, dark as it can be," said Flowers.
Investigators said when they got there, Robbins cut the chain on John's gate and was ready to load up to cattle.
That's when agents and Pittsburg County deputies moved in.
"He knew the gig was up. He was caught. He was caught red-handed … I mean, right smack-dab in the middle of stealing cattle."
The Cooks know Robbins; they'd hired him for odd jobs here and there.
They're not mad at him, just “terribly disappointed,” said John.
But also grateful to the agents who saved their livestock.
"I'm not happy that it happened, but I'm happy that these fellas got on the ball," John said.
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