Video Clue To Search For Cattle Rustlers - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Video Clue To Search For Cattle Rustlers

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by Nick Beres

HARTSVILLE, Tenn. - It's an old crime from the wild, wild west making a comeback because of the high cost of beef. 

"Ah, it was a hanging offense stealing cattle," said Trousdale County Sheriff Ray Russell, but he said rustlers nowadays face felony charges and jail time.

That could be the fate of the thieves who made off with 16 head of cattle from the Hartsville Livestock Market on Sunday if they are caught.

Sheriff Russell released surveillance video of a person of interest driving away from the market in a light-colored GM, regular-cab pickup with a 24-foot gooseneck livestock trailer early Sunday morning.

The market owner said the thieves knew what they were looking for and made it in and out of the warehouse in just seven minutes.

"We've had cows stolen before, but never a number of this magnitude," said Stetson Holder, whose family owns the livestock market. The business happens to be the oldest livestock market in the state operating in Hartsville for the past 77 years.

Sheriff Russell said the high cost of cattle is a driving force for rustlers. Recent droughts have created a shortage of the hay and grain needed to feed the cows pushing the cost of beef to near historic highs.

The sheriff hopes someone recognizes the truck in the surveillance video and contacts his office.

There is a $500 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the rustlers and the recovery of the cattle.


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