GREENE CO., Tenn. (WJHL)- Farmers in Greene County are on high alert after 36 head of cattle were stolen from a farm on Cox Hill road in the middle of the night last week.
“Once or twice a year you hear of some cattle getting stolen but now this 36- that’s a big number here in Greene County,” said third-generation farmer David Myers.
He and his sons run Myers Farm with about 500 cows in Mosheim. He says loading up 36 into a trailer is no easy feat.
“It takes some planning out. Somebody had to have some trailers lined up and a corral system lined up,” said Myers. “It wouldn’t be easy to do because a lot of people’s cattle are not used to strangers”
Greene Co. Sheriff Wesley Holt says a neighbor heard two diesel vehicles pulling trailers around 11 p.m. on Thursday, January 16th. When the owner returned to the farm the next day- the cows were gone.
“They had taken the farmer’s corral panels and had fashioned a corral panel out into the roadway where they could lead these cattle out,” said Holt.
Holt says whoever stole the cattle must have been watching because the cattle had only been moved to this property about a week before the crime.
“It would have had to have been somebody that knew the routine of the farmer, knew he just placed those cattle into the field,” said Holt.
Myers says he hopes the culprit is found soon. The estimated value of the cows that were stolen is about $40,000.
“We sit on these cattle for a year, trying to make a profit,” says Myers. “That would be a big lick at one time, especially when cattle prices are now beginning to get a little higher.”
The Sheriff’s Department is following up on leads to the case and is keeping a close eye on cattle shows and livestock auctions.
“These cows or calves were tagged but those tags are universal tags that you can buy at the co-op,” said Holt.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sergeant Holt at 423-798-1800.
It’s not uncommon to see crimes on farms in Greene Co. according to Sheriff Holt.
“All the farmers need to be vigilant- locking their gates, keeping their gates locked,” said Holt. “We have a lot of farm machinery thefts and things like that.”
He says putting chains and locks around gates and taking keys out of tractors are ways to prevent theft.
Although he believes this incident is isolated, Holt is also asking people to be watchful.
“Farmers just need to be aware and neighbors be aware. Watch out for your fellow neighbors,” said Holt. If you see something strange going on-especially late-night cattle trucks coming into a field late at night or something- it’s kind of indicative that there’s probably something going on there.”
WJHL reached out to the owner of the stolen cattle and has not heard back yet.