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Natchitoches Men Arrested for Cattle Theft

July 23, 2009

Livestock Brand Commission inspectors with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, working with assistance from the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, arrested two Natchitoches Parish men on July 15 and charged them with seven counts each of livestock theft, Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said.

20-year-old Milton Jude Metoyer and 29-year-old Steven Leslie Jones, both of Natchitoches, are accused of stealing seven black Brangus cows from a Natchitoches Parish cattlewoman.

Strain said the arrests resulted from a complaint filed July 14 by the owner after she discovered seven cows missing from her pasture.

Livestock Brand Commission Officer Jason LeGrande said the cows were easily spotted because of their brands.

“While cattle were being checked in at the sale barn in Coushatta we noticed these cows right away as matching the description on the complaint that was filed the day before,” LeGrande said. “Luckily these cows are branded with the owner’s unique and noticeable brand on their left hip which made identification a breeze.”

Brand inspectors stopped the cattle from being sold and later were returned to the owner.

“Livestock owners must stay one step ahead of thieves by maintaining good records and ensuring their animals have identification like brands or ear tags,” Strain said. “If they fall victim of livestock theft, their valuable property can easily identify and recovered.”

Strain urged livestock owners to report any possible thefts to the LDAF Crimestoppers hotline at 1-800-558-9741.