Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cattle rancher reports hay theft

About 3 tons of feed pilfered from ranch south of Bellevue


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft last week of about three tons of hay from a ranch south of Bellevue.

Cattleman Dean Rogers said Monday that the theft occurred either the evening of Dec. 19 or Dec. 20 when someone stole about three pickup loads of small hay bales from a stack a few miles from his home on Hillside Ranch Road off U.S. Highway 20, a few miles east of Timmerman Junction.

Rogers estimated the thieves took somewhere between 60 and 75 bales, the equivalent of about three tons of hay, with an estimated value of between $500 and $600.

"My take on it is somebody has too many horses to feed," Rogers said. "You can almost expect that it's someone with starving horses. They don't care about my cattle, but they care about their horses."

The Sheriff's Office reported having no leads in the case on Tuesday.

"We don't have any suspects at this time, but the investigation is still active," said sheriff's Capt. Jay Davis.

Davis said he's not aware of any other recent hay thefts in the area, but that the price of hay may be going up because of hay shortages caused by drought in Southern states.

Rogers said he's had hay stolen before, but not for several years.

"We've had it happen a couple of times before, but this was the biggest theft we've had," he said.

Rogers said the stolen hay was an alfalfa-grass mix that he described as "perfect for horses."

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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