Crime & Courts

Kansas cattle thieves caught selling steers at Oklahoma livestock barn, sheriff says

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)

A cattle brand and fake sale helped investigators at an Oklahoma livestock barn catch two suspected Kansas cattle thieves, officials say.

An employee at an Oklahoma City livestock barn recognized the owner’s brand on 17 steers delivered for a Tuesday morning auction the same day the owner had reported a cattle theft, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

The cattle theft of 17 steers was reported earlier that morning from a pasture in a rural area near Columbus in southeast Kansas, Sheriff David Groves said in the release. Livestock investigators with the Kansas attorney general’s office then teamed up with Oklahoma authorities to make a fake sale.

Two suspects were arrested when they claimed their fake check.

Anthony Francis Whittley and Jasmine A. Boone, both 27 and of rural Labette County, were identified as the suspects in the cattle theft. They remain in the Oklahoma County Jail on suspicion of bringing stolen property into the state, concealing stolen property and possession of an offensive weapon while committing a felony, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office records show.

They may face additional charges in Kansas, including felony theft and criminal damage to property, Groves said.

“I’m excited about the way this case came together, very quickly, thanks to rapid and accurate information sharing along with collaboration between the cattle owner, representatives of the sale barn, and all law enforcement involved, including the Special Livestock Investigators in Kansas and Oklahoma,” Groves said in the release.

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Jason Tidd is a reporter at The Wichita Eagle covering breaking news, crime and courts.


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