Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Millard County Sheriff's deputies are investigating the theft of about 50 sheep from a farm in Delta and warning that livestock rustling is a rising regional trend.
It's an Old West crime that has harsh 21st century penalties, said Millard County Sheriff's Lt. Roger Young.
"It's a felony in the state of Utah to steal livestock," he said. "You can get more (time) for stealing a sheep that you can for driving down the street and shooting at somebody."
The sheriff's office was called to a farm in Delta, about 110 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, late last month to investigate the apparent theft of the sheep.
The sheep are of unique breeds -- Suffolk and Rambouillet -- and weighed 100 to 115 pounds each. The sheep were ready for slaughter and the loss to the owner is more than $5,500.
"He's got 115 sheep," Young said. "He'd counted his sheep and all of a sudden he counted 'em and he had 65 out there."
Investigators say the theft is puzzling because there were no tire tracks from the farm and all the pens were closed. It is believed the sheep were stolen, possibly in small numbers at a time, between Feb. 21 and Feb. 23. Tracking the sheep will be difficult because they did not have ear tags.
The sheriff's office has notified stockyards and livestock auctions in the area to be on the lookout. Sheriff Robert Dekker also put out a warning to other livestock owners, calling it a "rising regional trend" and suggesting they take safeguards to protect their animals.
------ Information from: Deseret Morning News, http://www.deseretnews.com
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)