Livestock News

Trail camera footage helps Texas rangers catch cattle thieves

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After combing through hours of footage from cameras designed to help hunters track wildlife, Texas authorities were able to identify two men suspected of stealing 12 head of cattle earlier this month.

Landon Dee Harness, 22, and Lane Wesley Keller, 21, both of Sulphur Springs, were arrested last week on charges of Theft of Livestock. The charges and arrest are the result of an investigation conducted by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Toney Hurley and local investigators.

In early October, Hurley received a report that 12 head of cattle had been stolen from a property in north Hopkins County. Hurley and Hopkins County Sheriff’s Investigator Dennis Findley initiated an investigation and discovered video surveillance that would prove vital in apprehending the thieves.

The suspects were alleged to have used feed to lure the cattle onto trailers before transporting them to Oklahoma for sale.

Following their arrest last week, Harness and Keller were booked into the Hopkins County Jail and were released on bond. Both face third-degree felony charges of Theft of Cattle, less than $150,000. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be added as investigators determine whether the pair were involved in other unsolved cattle thefts in the area. Hurley is also working with Oklahoma officials to recover the stolen cattle and return them to their rightful owner.

“I would like to thank the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Department Investigations Division for their tireless work on this case, especially in reviewing the many hours of surveillance footage,” said Hurley.

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