LINCOLN COUNTY, Oklahoma -- Two people were arrested Monday in Lincoln County and face charges of cattle theft, according to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
Authorities say the two suspects, Charles and Angella Wallace, were arrested as they attempted to sell cattle valued at more than $14,000 at the Holdenville Livestock Market.
Branding on the cattle helped police trace the livestock to a Lincoln County ranch where they were allegedly stolen just days before.
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture says cattle rustling is increasingly becoming a problem in Oklahoma.
James Roderick of the Collinsville Livestock Auction says he's seen an increase in thefts over the summer months.
He says when beef prices go up, cows go missing. "It's kind of an easy way to make a buck," Roderick says.
Cattle rustlers will usually watch a place for a while and then begin feeding the cattle, Roderick explains, making it easier to herd them into a trailer and take off.
While cattle theft usually involves a large amount, some steal a single cow. "We had one [cow] 2 weeks ago that came in a minivan," Roderick said.
Roderick admits there is little the industry can do to prevent cattle rustling. "No one really marks their cows anymore other than ear tags, and ear tags are easily removed or changed," he says.
Collinsville Livestock Auction encourages its clients to brand their cattle.
Anyone with information regarding theft of livestock is encouraged to contact the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture's Investigative Services Unit at (405) 522-6104.