- This picture of a person in a cow suit is the best I could do. Sorry, Internet. (Photo: TBD Staff)
As it turns out, cattle rustling might be alive and well in Virginia, where 16 cows went missing from a Bedford County stockyard. The cows — beef cows, milk cows, and a calf — went missing over the weekend, reports the Washington Post.
Authorities are investigating. TBD has left a message with a deputy in Bedford County and will update this post if we hear back.
If the cows were stolen, though, it wouldn't exactly be that outrageous. Cattle rustling (or as I like to call it, cattle rustlin') apparently survived the Wild West era and became one of those Great Recession crimes you hear about these days, like stealing urns for copper.
A 2009 New York Times story found dozens of cows had been reported stolen in Missouri. Two hundred cows were stolen from an auction market in South Dakota, and cattle theft was also reportedly on the rise in Wyoming.
“It’s a big spike,” Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott told the Times. “Usually we’ll go a year or two with no thefts, but it’s really picked up. In these economic times people are taking desperate measures, whether it’s stealing, or whether they’re trying to come up with money through insurance fraud.”
More examples of cattle crime are after the jump.