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Agriculture Today

Alleged cattle thief held in DeWitt County

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November 14, 2012 | 2,835 views | Post a comment

CUERO -- Two suspects were arrested and jailed in Dewitt County Nov. 3, after they were charged with stealing cattle from the Cuero Livestock Commission and a Yoakum rancher. According to a Nov. 9 Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) press release, Special Rangers Gary Baros and Jimmy Belt led the investigation.

Kimberly Villarreal, 23, of Victoria was charged with one count of felony livestock theft. Maurice Mathis Jr., 25, also of Victoria, was charged with two counts of felony livestock theft from DeWitt and Lavaca counties.

According to Baros, the suspects allegedly stole seven head of cattle worth $8,000 from a rancher in Yoakum, and seven head of cattle from the Cuero auction market. They sold all but one of the animals at the Navasota and Livingston auction markets, but were tracked down by authorities before receiving payment.

The stolen cattle were returned to the victims, including the final cow, which was located on Mathis’ property and returned to the Cuero auction market.

The suspects were arrested in Polk County and then transferred to DeWitt County. Villarreal was released on a $20,000 bond. Mathis is still in the DeWitt County jail on bond of $20,000. Mathis also has been charged in Lavaca County, and that bond has been set at $80,000.

Baros says that authorities are still investigating these crimes and that more theft charges could be handed down in the coming weeks.

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