East Texas cattle thefts rise - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

East Texas cattle thefts rise

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LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- With cattle prices rising and the economy still struggling, cattle rustling appears to be making a come back. It has statistically gone up in the past few years, costing ranchers millions of dollars in Texas and Oklahoma.

"Cattle are the highest I've seen them. Some bull calves are bringing $900 a piece," Gregg County rancher Bob Griffin said. "Surely I'm concerned. I live on my ranch and that helps a whole lot, but they wouldn't have to get too many of them before it's a lot of money."

Special Rangers with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association have investigated nearly a thousand cases over the past year in primarily livestock theft. And its not just cattle that are being stolen. Investigators report that farm and ranch equipment is being stolen at an alarming rate.

"Most of them probably carry guns. A thief is a thief and they'll steal anything they can get their hands on," Griffin's ranch hand Jeremy Peyton said.

Branded cattle are almost impossible to sell. Rustlers simply pull trailers into grazing areas and load up a trailer. Calves are prime targets.

"I'd advise any ranchers to count their cattle and brand their cattle," Griffin said.

Special investigators said they recovered more than $3-million in stolen livestock and equipment in 2010.

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