Cattle rustlers keep busy in Oklahoma

Tuesday, November 8th 2005, 9:43 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A remnant of the old West remains alive and well -- cattle rustling.

Larry Gray with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association says rustling has doubled from last year to this year in Oklahoma and Texas.

Gray says the association recovered about $4-million in stolen livestock and equipment in 2004 and is on pace to recover $9-million this year.

Inspector Joe Rector says he's recovered about $1.2-million in cattle stolen from 15 counties in central Oklahoma this year.

Gray says a weak economy has increased thefts and drug users have realized they can make a quick buck off high-priced livestock. He says the best thing ranchers can do to protect themselves is to brand their cattle.

A conviction for cattle rustling can result in up to life in prison