Nine suspects arrested on two separate incidents of alleged stock theft and a total of 25 cattle were recovered

Nine suspects arrested on two separate incidents of alleged stock theft and a total of 25 cattle were recovered
Nine suspects arrested on two separate incidents of alleged stock theft and a total of 25 cattle were recovered. Image source: Pixabay

An intelligently driven operation was conducted by the Fouriesburg Stock Theft Unit, Bethlehem Crime Intelligence, private security, and farming community, which led to the successful arrest of seven suspects from Qwaqwa and Reitz charged with stock theft. While another incident saw six cattle allegedly stolen from Reitz recovered at Heidelberg.

On 1 June 2024 at about 04:00 a waylay operation was conducted between Reitz and Warden rural areas, following information and combating stock theft on Reitz farms. During the waylay, the team spotted a suspicious truck transporting 19 stolen cattle, and it was intercepted after the stolen cattle had been loaded while on route. As part of teamwork, a helicopter was provided by the farming community that was activated from Harrismith, which assisted in the apprehension of the truck transporting the suspected stolen livestock.

Upon stopping and investigating the livestock, it was discovered that the cattle were newly branded by the suspects. In the process, a total of seven suspects were arrested, including the truck owner, the owner of the new brandmark placed on the cattle, and two farm workers. All cattle were positively identified and handed over to their lawful owner. The truck was seized for commission of crime.

The seven suspects from Qwaqwa and Reitz, aged between 27 and 56, are expected to appear before the Reitz Magistrate Court on Wednesday, 5 June 2024, facing charges of stock theft.

Meanwhile, six suspects were arrested and linked positively to suspected stolen livestock at Reitz by Heidelberg police. They were arrested for possession of six suspected stolen cattle from one farm at Reitz policing precinct.

On Friday, 31 May 2024 at about 20:00 the farm community noticed a suspicious white Toyota Fortuner pulling a trailer with cattle driven on the N3 from Reitz in a direction towards Villiers from Reitz farms. The Vrede Stock Theft Unit activated Villiers and Heidelberg police. The suspects were finally stopped by Heidelberg police, arrested and detained for possession of suspected stolen livestock. The two suspects, aged between 30 and 52, from Bethlehem and Lesotho are expected to appear again at Reitz Magistrate Court soon for stock theft. All six cattle were handed over to their lawful owner.

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