Warnings over East Texas cattle rustlings - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Warnings over East Texas cattle rustlings

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By Wilton Johnson

KILGORE (KYTX) - The last time we spoke with Kilgore cattle rancher Carlos Griffin, his herd was doing pretty well.

"We had good moisture and lots of hay," he recalled.

He also did well fending off cattle rustlers, which are expected to begin their pilfering as beef prices stabilize and inch higher.

"With prices going up, the value of cattle is going up," he said Tuesday.

With those decent prices, Special Ranger for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Larry Hand told ranchers Tuesday night to keep an eye on their head.

"Check your cattle regularly, keep your gates locked when you're not right there, and change locks when there's an abrupt change in employment," he listed.

He says he's currently working four active cases of theft, involving 22 head of cattle, and has three more possible cases involving 18 head of cattle. Also looking bad for ranchers is an increase in tractor thefts. He's recommending farmers and ranchers register ID numbers with the state, like the Auto Theft Task Force's HEAT program.

"Let's say it gets run across by law enforcement. They'd have your name and phone number to call you and ask,'Is this tractor supposed to be here?'"

If he can side step all this, Griffin thinks this may be another good year on his ranch.

"If it gets to rainin we'll have a much better year, but we're hurtin right now."

To find out more on what you can do to prevent cattle thefts on your ranch, visit the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser's Association's website. To register your farm equipment with the DPS' Texas Recovery and Identification Program (TRIP) follow this link.

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