Three incidents of cattle theft have been reported in northwestern Barry County and the surrounding area.
A cow-calf operation in the Pulaskifield area reported being hit by cattle rustlers for the second time this month on Monday. The ranch lost four bulls on Sept. 4 and three yearlings on Sept. 20.
Barry County Chief Deputy Leonard Collins said the number of cattle thefts reported to the Barry County Sheriff's Department of late have been limited. In a typical spree by cattle thieves, multiple incidents across a broad area are common.
"The main thing to watch out for are strange vehicles in the area," Collins said. "Most rural people know vehicles that are typically use the area. We urge people to be alert for strange vehicles or slow moving vehicles out late at night or for no reason, especially vehicles with spotlights or hand-held spotlights.
"Call the sheriff if you see vehicles like that," Collins said. "We'll see if we can locate them, find out who they are and what they're doing. If they're traveling the roads with an empty trailer at night, generally they're up to no good."
Detective Mike Madewell with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department said no cattle thefts have been reported recently in the county. Madewell urged cattlemen to be watchful of their herds, especially around corrals located away for houses. Locking gates may help, though Madewell said cattle rustlers have been known to cut fences. He encouraged passing any information about suspicious vehicles on to the Sheriff's Department.
Captain Richard Leavens with the Newton County Sheriff's Department said his office works closely with Barry and Lawrence county officers to track suspicious activity. He looked forward to receiving reports from cattlemen about possible theft activity that could be intercepted.