Cattle Rustling Lives On In Oklahoma And Texas

Tuesday, December 25th 2007, 6:38 am
By: News On 6

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – Once considered a vestige of the Old West, cattle rustling lives on in remote parts of Oklahoma and Texas.

It's partly driven by high beef prices. At current beef prices, a single high-quality yearling cow weighing 500 pounds can sell for $450. That's good for producers, but it also attracts thieves.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association says its investigators recovered nearly $5 million worth of cattle, horses and equipment last year in Texas and Oklahoma.

Dean Bohannon, one of 27 investigators the group hired, says there are more cattle rustling cases now than there ever before.

Stories roam the range about thieves who use helicopters to round up cattle in remote areas, or fire hypodermic darts to anesthetize the animals. But most of the time, cattle are stolen by a few guys with a lock cutter.

Some thieves bait the cattle, spreading feed to lure them into a pen or trailer.