Titus County man arrested 5 years after bull goes missing
TITUS COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - An unusual case of cattle theft in one East Texas county is now solved after more than five years.
In 2016, a Titus county rancher just East of Mount Pleasant noticed one of his bulls was missing.
“He was expecting this bull to be a herd bull, a breeding bull for his herd. A rancher with limited income, it’s not easy to replace that bull. He ultimately lost a 2017 calf crop because he did not have a herd bull, " said Texas & Southwestern cattle raisers association special ranger Bo Fox.
After a year, most would assume the animal had been processed or ended up on someone’s plate.
But the owner in this case didn’t give up. He kept looking month after month. only to find out his animal was hidden in plain sight, by someone he’d already talked to.
“He looked at a property and happened to see a bull with similar markings on it. The property owner assured him that it was not his bull, that bull was born on his property,” Fox said.
That property owner was Gerry Stewart.
Fox was called into the case and immediately noticed the markings.
“This animal had several unique markings to it,” the special ranger says.
More evidence showed after finding the bull on his property, Stewart failed to notify the owner or the Titus county sheriff’s office as required by law.
“A property owners duty is to, as soon as reasonably possible, when they notice stray livestock on their property to contact the sheriff or his designee,” Bo says.
Gerry Stewart was arrested October 12th and charged with livestock theft.
A felony 3.
“All credit goes to the victim as he did not give up the fight looking for his bull,” says Fox.
If convicted, Stewart could face 2-to-10 years in prison.
A single herd bull’s value can stretch into several thousand dollars.
The bull is back in the possession of the original owner.
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