By Christina Calloway
Two people were recently charged with cattle theft in southeastern Roosevelt County and it’s sparked a new awareness about rustling across eastern New Mexico.
A few weeks ago, livestock board members arrested two suspects charged with stealing cattle in southeastern Roosevelt County. Jose Bailon and Jeannette Bass were charged with 11 felony counts including eight counts of larceny of livestock. The other charges were related to tampering with evidence.
Shawn Davis, New Mexico Livestock Board supervisor for Area 1, said, “cattle tags … that belonged to the individual who reported his cattle stolen were found in Bass’ home.” Bass confessed to stealing cattle and selling them at an auction in Texas, according to Davis.
Contact has been made with Texas Rangers to locate the other stolen animals, but Davis said tracking stolen cattle can take months, if the animals are located at all.
“Cattle are really hard to track, especially being close to the Texas border,” Davis said.
Although Davis and other livestock board members don’t believe cattle theft is on the rise, they say this incident makes the problem relevant to Roosevelt and Curry counties. “It’s not only hearing about this but how the problem is going and the outcome of it,” said livestock board officer Barry Allen.
In 2011, Davis said they had 11 cattle theft cases statewide. Roosevelt and Curry counties typically only see one to two a year.