It may be a sign of the slow economy, but cattle theft is on the rise in outstate Missouri.
The Joplin Globe reports that ranches in Lawrence County are being hit.
A cattle industry spokesman estimates that about 200 cattle, worth about $200,000, have been stolen recently. Cattlemen say that figure may be too low.
Eldon Cole, a cattle expert with University of Missouri Extension in Lawrence County, says it appears the thieves are mixing the stolen cattle with other cattle of a similar type before taking them to market to sell.
Rewards of up to 500-thousand dollars are being posted to catch the cattle thieves.
– Bob Hamilton, KMOX News