Texas cattle thief found in Montana

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Midland, Texas – A Midland man on the run since May 2012 turned himself in to authorities Monday after he was located, arrested and released on personal recognizance bond in Big Horn, Montana, on a warrant stemming from cattle theft charges in Midland and Martin counties. Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger James Bond led the investigation.

According to reports, William Thurman Lovelace, 34, allegedly stole 61 head of cattle on 3 different occasions from his employer in 2011 and 2012. The cattle, 60 calves and 1 cow, were sold at the Big Spring Livestock Auction for a total of approximately $32,500.

Bond, who was working the auction the days Lovelace sold cattle, said he received a call from the victim reporting 60 calves were missing from his ranch. When he checked the sale records he learned that Lovelace, the victim’s ranch manager, sold 60 unbranded calves and 1 branded cow at the auction market. The brand on the cow was traced back to the victim. When asked by Bond about the cattle, Lovelace claimed the cattle were given to him by his employer.

Shortly after, Lovelace fled to New Mexico and was eventually located by authorities in Montana.

Lovelace is currently in custody in the Midland County jail on a $50,000 bond.

Bond says there could be more suspects and that the investigation is ongoing at this time.

TSCRA would like to thank Midland County Sheriff Deputy Sgt. Rusty Hill and New Mexico Livestock Inspectors George Mendoza, Troy Patterson and Don Hatfield for their assistance with this investigation.



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