Jefferson County sheriff's deputies seek tips in Culver-area thefts
CULVER, Ore. - The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public's help and tips after responding to three recent reports of cattle rustling in the Juniper Butte area near Culver -- all involving newborn calves.
In each case, the victims reported someone entered their property in the middle of the night and removed newborn baby calves, said Capt. Mark Heckathorn.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture says higher beef prices have lead to an increase in cattle theft statewide, and warn ranchers to be extra-vigilant in prevent rustling, Heckathorn said.
As many as 200 head of cattle are estimated to be stolen each year in the state of Oregon but many losses aren't reported to law enforcement.
Sheriff Jim Adkins says these reports are the first his office has received and is seeking help from the public in identifying suspects.
"Any livestock theft is a felony," and my office will treat these incidents as high priority.
On the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office home page ranchers can find valuable information on things they can do to reduce their chances of being a victim of cattle rustling. www.co.jefferson.or.us/sheriff
If you have any information, contact the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-876-TIPS, or use the form on KTVZ.COM's Crime Stoppers page. You may also contact Detective Bryan Skidgel of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 541-475-6520 to report any tips.
You can stay anonymous, and you could be eligible for a cash reward.