Montezuma (WSYR-TV) -- The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a possible case of animal theft.
Snyder Farm in Montezuma believes four of their beef cows were stolen.
It's an unusual case for the Sheriff's Office, but it's investigated like any other. Detectives start looking for clues, like tire marks or shell casings that may lead to answers on whether the cows were killed or taken away. Detectives aren’t ruling out that the cows could have wandered off, but the farm’s owner says that’s not likely.
Black Angus cows are more valuable than most, about $1,500 each, which in this case adds up to a $6,000 loss.
“It has been on the rise in the last couple of years in the south and we’re not sure it it’s something that’s going to be moving to the north in our local community, so it’s concerning,” said Cayuga County Detective Timothy Axton.
Livestock theft is a growing trend in southern and western states. Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma, are among the hardest hit states. Thousands of animal thefts happen in each state every year.
Cayuga investigators are worried that if they were taken to be sold for beef, the meat consumed by people is not up to USDA standards.
“It's not certified beef at this point; it hasn't gone through that process, so we don't want to see anyone get hurt,” Detective Axton continued.
In the end, if the cows aren’t found, it’s the farmer suffers. Whether the cows got loose or stolen, the farm is still out thousands of dollars.
The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office will be beefing up patrols to make sure that, if this was in fact a case of animal theft, it doesn’t happen again.
If you see anything suspicious, or have any information about the missing cows, call the Sheriff’s Office at 253-1610.