Search On for Cattle Rustlers in Independence County

FEBRUARY 17, 2005 - Posted at 12:44 p.m. CST

CUSHMAN, AR - The Independence County Sheriff's Office is looking for a couple of cattle rustlers.

Lester Ballard reported to authorities that 28 of his calves have been stolen from his property off Highway 69 between Cushman and Mount Pleasant.  Ballard says tracks at the scene show at least two people were involved in gathering up the 52 head of cattle in the pasture.  The 28 calves were separated out and put into a trailer.  Ballard says the rustlers knew how to handle the animals.  The theft occured sometime after 5 p.m. Monday.

Ballard says the thieves had to be familiar with the area, since they took a back entrance to his land.  He said they cut the lock on his gate and drove through six different pastures to get to the cattle.  He also said they bypassed a pen of 14 weaning calves and took the other calves, which he said were six to seven months old and weighed about 500 pounds each.

The loss is estimated at $15,000.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)