Cattle rustling syndicates put on notice as pair charged with stealing more than 800 cattle
Two people have been charged after police busted an alleged cattle rustling network worth hundreds of thousands of dollars operating in the State’s north.
A 43-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman will face Carnarvon Magistrate’s Court next month, accused of stealing then selling 803 cattle — worth about $800,000.
The arrests were made as part of Operation Topography, established by police to stop “criminal networks” in the Mid-West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions dealing in the illegal trade.
Police say there are cattle rustling syndicates made of industry insiders, including musterers, livestock truck drivers, stock agents, abattoirs and feed lot staff.
Producers are currently enjoying historic-high beef prices and the rural crime squad has vowed to disband rustling syndicates.
“This is just the start of our ongoing investigation into the theft of livestock and the criminal networks involved in the logistics and profits of these offences,” Detective Sergeant Paul Matthews said.
“People involved in committing these crimes will be caught, their assets will be seized and they will be put before the courts.
“Heavy penalties apply for these offences, including lengthy terms of imprisonment.”
Rural Crime Squad officers have urged anyone with information relating to the theft or sale of stolen livestock to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report it online at crimestopperswa.com.au.
People reporting information may remain anonymous if they wish.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails