Cattle rustling. Most folks think of and old Western movie and the posse riding after the rustlers to administer some frontier justice – if they think about it at all. But it continues to be a problem in Texas today. And with beef prices soaring, the thieves are active again. It seems like a hard and dangerous way to lead a life of crime, but some Texas rustlers are making a decent payday with their hauls of purloined meat on the hoof. The Texas Tribune has more.
Cattle theft, a decades-old problem, continues costing Texas ranchers millions of dollars annually. Although the number of reported rustling cases has dropped in recent years, the value of stolen livestock has risen along with cattle prices driven higher by years of drought.
“It’s been a continuing problem since 1877 when our association was formed,” said Gray, executive director of law enforcement and theft prevention for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. With 30 officers commissioned by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation or both, the association tracks livestock and property theft in Texas and Oklahoma. Most of the work is in Texas, the nation’s largest cattle producer.