POSTED: Monday, March 25, 2013 - 6:21pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 11:33am
Tyler, TX — "Cattle rustling" is an increasing problem for many farmers and ranchers. In fact, millions of dollars of property is stolen and recovered every year.
"Cattle prices are high and a lot of guys without work and they just need an excuse," says Jonathan Oland, Ranch Manager, Rio Neches Ranch in Tyler.
Which explains why "Cattle rustling" is on the rise.
There was close to 1,000 reported theft cases of cattle, horse, livestock and equipment in Texas and Oklahoma in 2012.
KETK spoke with Larry hand, special ranger from Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association serving East Texas.
Hand says, it's a widespread problem in East Texas.
"There are unsolved cases that we're actually working on right here in Smith County and many other counties," says Larry Hand, Special Ranger, East Texas District, TSCRA.
Ranch Manager at Rio Neches Ranch in Tyler tell us, it's a important to identify your cattle and have a cattle count.
"The quicker you can identify that your cattle are gone and get them reported, you know the more chance you have of getting some recovery," says Jonathan Oland, Ranch Manager, Rio Neches Ranch in Tyler.
Hand says, the TSCRA is currently working closely with local sheriff's departments on several new cattle theft cases from the first of the year, and it's a planned operation.
"Cattle are more easily gathered by someone they're not accustomed to because you know.. they're looking for food," says Larry Hand, Special Ranger, East Texas District, TSCRA.
Hand says, for one head of cattle it's a 3rd degree felony.
Reports say, of these reported cases.
Thieves have paid more than three million dollars in restitution, fines and costs.