ARRESTS MADE IN LIVESTOCK THEFTS, CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
Investigator Glenn Wheeler says three people are in custody in Newton County following thefts of livestock and cruelty to animals. The Newton County Sheriff’s Office began receiving reports of missing calves and goats several weeks ago. One resident was able to provide a partial description of a vehicle seen in the area of one of the thefts close to the time his calves went missing. A hidden game camera later captured the vehicle back in the area.
Newton County Investigators were able to develop leads based information from the community and subsequently interviewed an individual who admitted to being involved in the thefts. He informed Investigators of at least one more theft of goats that had not yet been reported.
During that interview it was learned that some of the calves had been transported out of the county and that at least one calf had been killed and left at the scene to make it appear as if predators had gotten the others.
Investigators were able to recover calves belonging to two different Newton County residents at a farm in Searcy County and goats belonging to a third Newton County Farmer, who had not yet reported the goats stolen, were found at a suspect’s house near Piercetown.
Arrested were 36-year-old Curt Young of Piercetown, 37-year-old Tiffany Day of Harrison and 20-year-old Zachary Johnson of Western Grove. All three were charged with Theft of Livestock and Cruelty to Animals. Two vehicles which were used in the thefts and transport of the stolen livestock were also seized.
Investigator Wheeler said, “This was a classic case of good investigations paired with involvement by members of the community working together to solve a case that would have otherwise been difficult to clear.”
Sheriff Keith Slape said, “being a cattle farmer myself, I know the impact losing calves can have, whether by predation, illness or theft. The Sheriff’s Office can’t do much about the first two, but we take thefts very seriously and work hard to try and solve these cases. I’m just glad we were able to recover the livestock we did and we intend to send a clear message to any future livestock thieves by the charges we filed and the seizure of two vehicles involved in the thefts.”
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