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The association reports that about 2,400 cattle were reported stolen in 2007. A year later, that number increased by more than 250 percent to 6,404, according to the association.
“They just pull inside their gate and take some cubes and hay and feed them there up close to the road," he said. “When the bandit sees that, they can do the same thing. They just drive up with a trailer and load the cattle up.” Rayes said another part of the cattle rustling problem is rooted in the economy. “A lot of people are just flat hungry,” he said. “They just come out here and if they find a calf close to the road, it’s no big deal to shoot it and drag it under the fence.”