KINGSBURG – A series of goat thefts have put the Fresno County Sheriff’s Ag Task Force and local animal owners on alert.
From Jan. 9 through March 7, there have been seven different reports of goat thefts. A total of 61 goats, totaling $27,000 in loss, have gone missing from different private properties between Easton and Riverdale.
Ag Task Force detectives are working with Kings and Tulare counties investigators to generate leads in these cases.
One case involves a Kingsburg 4-H club member who had 11 of their goats stolen March 7. The goats were being kept in a pasture on the 4200 block of South Fruit Avenue in Fresno. The owners were able to safely recover four of their goats the following weekend as they were found roaming in a road in Selma between Highways 41 and 43. The owners are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the safe return of their remaining seven goats.
Detectives offer these tips to help protect your livestock.
Make sure your fencing and gates are secure.
Stay vigilant by watching your property for suspicious activity. Spread the word to neighbors and friends to do the same.
Consider locking up animals during the night.
Invest in trail cameras, which could capture images of suspicious vehicles and license plates.
Monitor websites where buying and selling take place.
Attend auction yards to view animals being sold. If your animals appear to be on the grounds, notify the auctioneer immediately to delay a sale.
Report any theft of livestock to local law enforcement right away.
Anyone with information on these cases of goat theft is ask to contact the Ag Task Force at 600-8150, Crime Stoppers at 498-7867 or www.valleycrimestoppers.org. You may remain anonymous and receive a cash reward.