A Stroud man was arrested for stealing and selling cattle he was being paid to manage in Creek County.
Investigators said Clarence Burger has bonded out of jail, after he turned himself in August 3.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association said Burger was selling the stolen cattle at the Mid-America Stockyards in Bristow, and the Payne County Stockyards in Perkins.
He eventually admitted to investigators that he was stealing the cows from his boss.
Burger worked on several pastures near Stroud, where it was his job to take care of cattle for Mark Low, who lives four hours away in Dallas.
“You have somebody you trust. You have them up there. You’re not gonna be there every day,” Low said.
That trust was broken, Low said, after he learned some of his cows were taken off his land and sold at the stockyards.
“It’s just disappointing,” Low said. “You put faith in people and we all know that people make mistakes. It’s kind of a slippery slope once you do it and start it, it gets easier to do it again.”
Low said when he noticed something was off, he confronted his ranch manager. Burger admitted to stealing cattle twice and paid Low back. But that didn’t put his suspicion to rest. He said he fired Burger and got the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association involved.
“If you don’t trust them or you have suspicion, there’s usually going to be a problem there,” Special Ranger Bart Perrier said.
Perrier said Burger told him in an interview that he needed money to pay a bill. It turns out, Perrier said, that seven head of cattle were stolen and sold over the course of about two years.
“He ultimately confessed to stealing all the cattle,” Perrier said.
Burger’s arrest affidavit outlined the transactions he made at the stockyards, showing he made thousands of dollars.
“If he really had a problem, if he needed the money, he could have picked up the phone and called me,” Low said. “We [would have] probably worked it out just fine.”
If Burger is convicted, he could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison. Low said he hired a new manager, someone he knows he can trust.