Wagoner Area Ranchers On The Lookout For Cattle Rustlers

Sunday, July 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Some ranchers are using old western values to stop crime.

Teamwork is their most effective weapon as they band together to catch criminals moving in on them.

These ranchers are helping out because sheriff’s offices are barely holding their own against meth labs and other criminals.

Area ranchers caught the person who slaughtered cattle, another person who set fire to hay bales and now, they're chasing cattle rustlers.

Wagoner farmer, Wade Rousselot roams his ranch on his 4-wheeler checking on his cattle.

Rousselot works alone, but he's ready to pitch in when a neighbor needs help.

"It's just takes somebody to say this is what happened to so and so, what are we going to do about it," says Rousselot

Cattle rustlers opened gates and stole ten thousand dollars worth of calves from Jamie Cannon's Wagoner ranch.

"I basically came out, jumped up and down and hollered and screamed," says Cannon.

When Wade Rousselot found out that rustlers had hit a nearby rancher, he immediately came over to see how he could help.

“It makes me sick. It gives me a bad feeling in my stomach," says Rousselot.

Rousselot is the president of the Wagoner County Cattlemen’s Association.

Last year they started a program where they offer a reward if anyone can help them get a conviction. Recently the incentive brought on the arrest of an arsonist responsible for destroying hay, and a judge sent two men in their twenties to jail for several years for slaughtering cattle.

Rousselot and his fellow ranchers also get the word out, about the reward and the crime to other ranchers, police chiefs, and sheriffs. Anything to catch the bad guy.

"If we can prosecute, get a conviction, we can send a message that don't mess with us. We're serious about our livelihood," says Rousselot. “We can't afford the loss and won’t tolerate the loss."

“I'd hate to have him on my trail. He's relentless," says Cannon.

Rousselot says today ranchers can't treat criminals like the old time ranchers did.

"A horse thief was hung and the same with cattle rustling," says Rousselot.

So, this country-type cop pushes the buttons to get the law to work.

Wagoner ranchers are asking for help in solving the recent rustling case.

If you have any information call the Wagoner County Sheriff's office or police department.