POSTED: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 6:29pm
UPDATED: Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 2:56pm
Tyler , TX (KETK) — Cattle Rustling is on the rise yet again here in Texas.
And because of the rising price of beef, cattle thieves are on the prowl.
It seems like an old west type of crime, but cattle rustling is a growing problem here in Texas.
In 2012, 10,000 head of cattle were reported stolen.
"The last couple of years with the price of the cattle, I think you are seeing it up a little more than what you have been," said Chad Gulley with Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.
Gulley says it's a growing issue because of the supply and demand of cattle.
Since the 2011 drought, the price of beef is pretty expensive.
"These calves bring in well over a dollar a pound and cows are bringing in good money too right now so with that said, people look to make a quick buck," said Gulley.
But, herds of cattle aren't the only thing on thieves' mind.
Cattle rustlers also steal trailers, ranching equipment and horses.
"You can take a stock trailer $7,000 $8,000 $10,000 they steal plus saddles. I guess 4 wheelers and equipment they have out there on the farm you are talking about some pretty good money," said Gulley.
And the state does not give these thieves' any slack.
State law bumped up the maximum punishment for cattle rustling in 2009.
The crime used to land a thief in jail for two years.
Now, it's a third degree felony, with a punishment up to ten years.