Local

February 17, 2013

Cattle rustlers targeting Missouri ranches

Authorities say several ranches in southwest Missouri have been targeted by cattle thieves.

Authorities say several ranches in southwest Missouri have been targeted by cattle thieves.

Lawrence County, one of Missouri's top cow-calf producing counties, is among several area counties that have become the target of cattle rustlers.

A cattle industry spokesman estimates that about 200 cattle have been stolen in the past two years in Southwest Missouri, making a potential loss of $200,000. Local cattlemen think the actual number of cattle stolen has been underreported.

Eldon Cole, a cattle expert with University of Missouri Extension in Lawrence County, says it appears thieves are mixing the stolen cattle with other cattle of a similar type before taking them to market.

There are also $5,000 rewards for the arrest and conviction of cattle thieves.

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