MILLER, Mo. — Cattle rustling once again rearing its ugly head in the Ozarks. 150 head of cattle were stolen in Jasper County and the sheriff there is warning residents the thieves may be making the rounds.
Law enforcement calls it a circuit. If rustlers hit a county that touches yours, odds are you're next. That's a scary prospect-especially, if you've already been a victim.
Allen Bloomer didn't inherit the family business; he built it. "1976 I bought 13 head of cows; I was a sophomore in high school." So you'd better believe when someone sabotaged it, the crime was personal. "That really hacks me off," Bloomer says.
It was financial as well. "About $19,000." That was the cost of 31 cattle in 2003. "It'd be like somebody working in town and losing their income for a whole year," Bloomer explains.
Eight years later, their value's gone up, and so have Bloomer's defenses.
Even though nobody's messed with Bloomer's herd since, there have certainly been some attempts. He and his neighbors have spotted a number of suspicious looking vehicles, usually parked at a small church, across the road from one of Bloomer's pastures.