County cattle theft suspected

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

A rancher in the Obar area of Quay County is offering a $10,000 reward for information about more than a dozen missing calves.

“Some were taken about two weeks ago, and then there’s at least six that we haven’t seen by their mothers,” said Bryan Rinestine of Rinestine Ranch, which is located between Nara Visa and Logan.

The reward is for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for taking the missing calves.

Shawn Davis, inspector in Quay County for the New Mexico Livestock Board, said the board is conducting an investigation.

“It doesn’t look like a predator because predators aren’t usually that aggressive,” Davis said.

There also has been a report of calves missing from another herd, Davis said.

“But there is nothing as solid as what the Rinestines have reported,” Davis said.

Bryan Rinestine said the calves were a few days old and small enough to have been put in the back of a pickup.

“They are being bottle fed. Somebody could be raising bottle calves, not knowing that they were stolen. They could have bought them and not known where they were from,” he said.
The calves are mostly black, “but there was one black baldy and a Charlais cross,” said James Rhinestine, Bryan’s father and owner of the ranch.

An advertisement offering a $10,000 reward leading to an arrest and conviction for the theft of the calves has not brought in any good information as of yet, Bryan Rinestine said.

Calves missing since mid-December could now have been weaned from the bottle and on feed, he said. The most recent missing calves would still be fed by bottle.

“They didn’t come out with a semi. These were baby calves that you’d catch on foot and that you could put in the trunk of car,” Bryan Rinestine said.

Anyone with any information regarding the missing calves may contact Shawn Davis of the New Mexico Livestock Board at 461-3049 or 487-1579.