In a turn of events that harkens back to 19th century tales of dusty towns and quick draw artists, or perhaps the 21st century HBO series, Deadwood, my metrosexual sensibilities were shocked when I learned that cattle rustling is still alive and kicking. Two Mondays ago, on September 3, 2012, media outlets reported that most of the 49 cows that were stolen just two days earlier from a Dartmouth Farm were found, a few hundred miles away at an auction site in Pennsylvania. Dartmouth Police Sergeant Allen Shaw confirmed that 39 of the cattle were found in New Holland, Pennsylvania. The find came with the help of the cows’ owner, Ahmed Mahmoud, acting on a tip.
At the time of the discovery, police were still investigating but had only a few details about the theft and the location of the other cows. The animals were valued at approximately $50,000 and the thieves made away with them from the communal farm on Old Fall River Road late Saturday night, September 1, 2012.
After only three more days, reports began to surface that the remaining cows were successfully reclaimed. The final remnants of the stolen livestock had been stashed much closer to home, only about forty miles away in Medway, Massachusetts. At the time, suspects had been identified but no arrests or charges had been made.
But as of this past Monday, Jordan Rebello, 19, and an unnamed minor have been taken into custody for the theft of the cattle. The pair has been charged with breaking and entering, larceny, and destruction of property in the theft of 49 cows from the communal farm on September 1, 2012. Mahmoud told the media that he had purchased cattle from the underage suspect in the past. He also asserted that five of the cows had to be sent to slaughter because they were so badly damaged during the theft.
Police say that a financial dispute between the two parties led to the cattle rustling incident. Mahmoud firmly claims that he doesn’t owe money to anybody and in an odd twist, says that he believes his landlord assisted the cattle rustlers with their endeavor. There was no comment on the incidents made by Mary Robinson, the owner of the communal farm since 2001.
There’s nothing amusing about theft but I was surprised to learn that cattle rustling still happened in the 21st century. I was further astonished to learn after a little research that an early 2012 article reported that not only is cattle rustling still in existence but, with the current economic climate, it’s actually on the rise. Stolen or not, a single cow can fetch a thousand dollars. The going price for a bull is fifteen hundred dollars. Texas is a hotspot for cattle rustling. And the thefts have only intensified. In 2010, there were 7,500 reported cattle thefts, tripling the amount of the previous year. A special ranger with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association in Fort Worth claims that the rustlers will swoop in on horseback as was done over a century ago and ride off with several head of cattle at a time.
If you, or anyone you may know, even cattle rustlers, find yourself in need of legal advice or counsel regarding a criminal charge, please feel free to contact Altman and Altman at your earliest convenience.