Scott Welch lost have of his winter income when 7 cattle were stolen from his property 2 weeks ago. He hopes with everyone working together, the same thing won't happen to anyone else. "The meeting is like reliving it. I just want them caught." He says it's been a struggle dealing with the financial loss to his family. "I'm sleeping less. We're on patrol, neighbors are driving around patrolling."
Authorities are asking people living in rural areas to be vigilant, and watch for trucks and trailers that don't belong in the area. But they cautioned residents not to take the law into their own hands.
In addition to law enforcement increasing patrols, local ranchers are being asked to identify their livestock. Missouri Extension Center Livestock Specialist Eldon Cole says ranchers should look into ways to identify their cattle in cast they are mission. "Ranchers should have some type of positive identification on them. We suggest using a hot branding iron, or using freeze brands."
Lawrence County officials have increased patrols in rural parts of the county, and are pulling over any trailer, especially at night. They are also working a number of leads, but no arrests have come yet.