CARTHAGE, Mo. (AP) Jasper County authorities  are investigating the theft of 177 head of cattle from six farms in the last six  weeks.

The Joplin Globe reports that several  cattle thefts have also been reported in recent weeks in Barton, Lawrence and  Dade counties.

Jasper County sheriff’s detective Lt. Ron Thomas says  farmers have to take precautions to keep their livestock safe, including  reporting any suspicious people or vehicles.

He says thieves are hauling  the cattle away in stock trailers. In some cases, thieves may be putting out  feed to attract the cattle. He says it’s unclear if the same people are  responsible for all the thefts.

Thomas said farmers believe an increase in beef prices is contributing to the cattle rustling.

Copyright Associated Press



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