Stolen cattle from Cherokee County recovered in Oklahoma
Two suspects in custody
COLUMBUS, Kan. — Seventeen steers stolen from a ranch in southeast Kansas. Two people, now in custody in Oklahoma City and they’ve been linked to another cattle theft in Cherokee County in November.
Jim Gaither woke up Tuesday morning and found seventeen of his steers were gone. Jim Gaither, Owner of Gaither Ranches says “With the ranch you’re out there checking them every day and trying to make sure none are sick, or any issues and so when you have them stolen it’s just a shock to the system.”
He immediately contacted the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department and they began an investigation. Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves says “We sent an investigator out to meet with him and get the information.” But within minutes of that, Gaither says, a miracle occurred. “We had a cattle buyer I knew in Oklahoma City that saw them come through the ring, fortunately, and recognized my brand.” explained Gaither.
Sheriff Groves then contacted the Special Investigator with the State of Kansas Ag Department who then worked with the Oklahoma investigators to catch the suspected thieves at the OKC livestock sale. Groves says “They were able to go to that livestock sale, fortunately the suspects were still there, they were waiting to pick up their check after the auction had taken place, and at that point they were taken into custody.”
The suspects Anthony Whittley and Jasmine Boone of Labette County, Kansas were charged with bringing stolen property into the state, concealing stolen property, and possession of a weapon while committing a felony. Gaither says “It’s a huge relief knowing that they were found that quick and they’re headed back this way that soon.”
All seventeen cattle were located and were prepared for transportation back to the Gaither Ranch in Cherokee County. Groves says the suspects will be extradited to Cherokee County and will face several other charges here as well.
Groves says both suspects have also been tied to a cattle theft in November in Cherokee County as well. Those cattle have not yet been recovered.
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