(St. Jmes, MN) – The Watonwan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an apparent case of cattle rustling, although police suspect fraud and criminal charges could be coming.
According to search warrants obtained by SMT, authorities were notified on March 17th that 504 head of feeder cows had gone missing from a Butterfield farm. The farm owner told police that he noticed tracks in his gravel driveway that morning and then checked his barns and discovered the cows missing.
Authorities followed up by interviewing a number of people who do business with the farm in question. One of them said that the owner told him about a plan to report the cows missing and claim it with insurance for the money to clear his debt.
Police believe the farm owner falsely reported the cows being taken and had actually already sold them. The cows are valued at around $200,000.
Search warrants have now been executed by authorities on the farm owner’s bank records, email account and phone usage.
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