2016-03-24 / Front Page

Reward offered in theft of cattle from stockyard

There are cattle rustlers right here in Washington-Wilkes, and the Wilkes County Cattlemen’s Association is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for a recent theft.

Some 17 cattle were stolen Tuesday night, March 15, from the Wilkes County Stockyard on Third Street just off the North Bypass the night before the stockyard’s regular Wednesday auction.

“We’re aggressively trying to determine who stole these cattle,” Wilkes County Sheriff Mark Moore said. “Not just anybody can come in and steal cattle; they need to know what they’re doing and need a truck and trailer to pull this off. This kind of theft is planned with the proper equipment and timing. We’ve solved this kind of crime at that location in the past, as recently as three or four years ago, so we’re aggressively working on it.”

Although the value of beef cattle fluctuates with the market, the loss was estimated at $20,000, Moore said. The stolen cattle belonged to one local Wilkes County farm, a farm from the Thomson area, and a farm in the Stapleton, Georgia, area. They were all in the Wilkes County Stockyard and Sale Barn to be sold at the regular Wednesday afternoon auction.

The thieves made entry to the stockyard by lifting a gate off its hinges, he said. The cattle were apparently loaded into a truck in the dark and hauled off.

The theft was discovered by stockyard personnel Wednesday morning.

Anyone with information on the cattle theft should call the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office at 706-678- 2224.

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