By Mose Buchele
The Giddings Livestock Commission holds its auction every Monday. Hundreds of cows pass through, brought in by their rightful owners to be sold to the highest bidder. But, every now and then, auction manager Larry Larry Schatte says, a contraband cow finds its way into the mix.
“Probably about a year ago. This one guy, he’d usually bring in some cattle for his mom,” Schatte told StateImpact Texas on a recent auction day that the man would always bring in the same kind of cow, a specific type of cross breed.
“And this one particular time he came in with a couple of long horns, and I thought it was kind of an odd deal,” he said.
Turns out, it was. The cattle had been stolen from a ranch where the man worked. Stories like this are becoming more and more common.
Ranchers saw a sharp jump in cattle rustling last year in Texas and Oklahoma. Over 10,000 cows and horses were reported missing or stolen. That’s an almost 40 percent increase from the year before. It’s a trend that’s surprised some in law enforcement.
Mose Buchele (audiofile):
Cattle Theft Rises in Texas, Despite Tougher Penalties soundcloud.com
Doug Hutchison is a special ranger commissioned by the Texas Department of Public Safety to investigate cattle theft. He points out that -since the drought ravaged herds in 2011- there’s simply less and less Texas cattle to steal. More....