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Security Camera Leads to Theft Arrests

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 | 05:05am

NASHVILLE— A livestock owner’s simple security measure led to the arrest of three suspected cattle thieves. 

After two dairy calves were stolen from a Bedford County farm in January, the cattle owner installed a trail camera to monitor activity on the farm.  That camera captured the theft of a third calf in February.

Using the video evidence, detectives with the Bedford County and Moore County Sheriff’s departments worked with Agricultural Crime Unit investigator Michael Whaley to develop suspects.
On February 20 and 21, Jamie Vaughn, Floyd Vaughn and Billy Batten of Moore County were arrested and charged with felony theft of property.

The calves, valued at $1,800, were recovered in Moore County

"We have seen an increase in thefts. Beef prices are high, and that can motivate thieves," Ag Crime Unit investigator supervisor Max Thomas said.

In 2014, the department investigated 22 theft cases involving 151 head of cattle. State investigators work closely with local authorities and livestock markets to track and recover stolen animals. However, livestock owners are encouraged to take action to guard their investment.

* Count livestock daily
* Report thefts to law enforcement immediately
* Make sure gates are locked and well lit
* Visible brands can deter thieves and speed recovery
* Consider installation of a security camera system

To report theft of livestock, contact the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Crime Unit at 1-844-AGCRIME or 1-844-242-7463.


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