Kansas is seeing a rise in cattle thefts.
“We’ve seen an increase in the last 6-8 months… statewide,” said Dustin Cooke, an Investigator with the Kingman County Sheriff’s Office.
Cooke says cattle producers need to be aware, and vigilant in reporting any missing cattle.
“It’s about where they are going to go. Are they going to go to an individual’s house and be held? Or, are they going to go to another market and be sold? That’s always the tough part about these cases,” Cooke said. “They need to have a little bit heightened awareness of what’s going on.”
Cooke says getting frequent head counts, as often as every 10 days, can help law enforcement get an accurate timeframe if any cattle do go missing.
The sheriff’s office is working a case currently in Kingman County, and posts like this () are just one example of other cases across Kansas.
“People are upset,” Cooke said. “That may have been that dollar for the month that they were banking on coming in, so any time you have a loss like that, emotions get to going.”
If you are caught stealing cattle, you could face felony theft charges. On top of that, any property used to steal the cattle, like pick-ups and trailers, can be seized by the state if you're prosecuted. The key to those prosecutions Cooke says, comes in reporting the cases.
“If things are out of place to a person, they need to call,” Cooke said. “We are here to serve. That’s what our job is, but we have to have the public’s help.”
And if you see someone stealing cattle…
“The first thing that I’m always going to tell people is to call 9-1-1,” Cooke said. “That’s what we are here for, to handle these types of cases.”