ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Somebody is stealing cattle, even baby ones, from a Lee County ranch, and the owner wants it stopped.
Oakhill Farms on US 19 has put up security cameras, and have patrols around their property, after another calf was stolen Sunday night. That brings to 17 the number of calves taken from the ranch in the last three months.
Owners are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is stealing the calves, valued at $500 each. Usually one or two calves have been taken, but on one night, 10 were stolen.
Oak Hill Dairy Manager Marty Erickson said "This is gigantic. Because this is our future. In two years these guys are up there milking. Very large problem for us. If you don't know what you are doing with these calves, they are more likely to die than live."
Oak Hill officials say they are afraid the calves are being taken for their meat, rather than being sold to other producers. Erickson said "We've checked with other dairies. Around with livestock markets. Individual calf source people, and no one has seen any signs of them. May mean they are going out of state."
They say that who ever is taking them needs to know how to care for the calves for them to survive. They are checking with stock yards and veterinarians across the country to alert them to the thefts.
If you can help solve the crime, call the Lee County Sheriff at 759-6012, Crimestoppers at 436-TIPS, or Oakhill at 376-0179.