Crime Stop­pers - Cor­ner­ing the Com­pact-Car Cow Hus­tler

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Made­line Mul­hol­land Stanstead

Alexan­draSmith is the lit­tle girl who wrote a letter to the Editorial sec­tion of the Stanstead Jour­nal last week be­seech­ing the thief who stole her grand­fa­ther’s calf, Rocky, to please re­turn him. She iden­ti­fied the tag num­ber in hopes that some­one would be able to help lo­cate him. I spoke with the fam­ily re­cently and the calf has not been re­turned.

This is a story that makes me laugh, be­cause I feel a bit sorry for the thief in this par­tic­u­lar case. I don’t think he knows who he is up against. Alexandra is a cute lit­tle girl with a huge, dim­pled smile and a sweet na­ture. That be­ing said, she loves her calves and ex­pressed her un­wa­ver­ing de­ter­mi­na­tion to find Rocky. She is now of­fer­ing a fi­nan­cial re­ward, $5 of her own money, for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the thief’s iden­tity or the re­turn of Rocky. Given the amount of talk her editorial has elicited, and the crime de­tails that are now com­ing to light as a re­sult, I suspect she will suc­ceed.

photo Made­line Mul­hol­land

Alexandra snug­gles Olivia.

photo Made­line Mul­hol­land

The hu­mor­ous as­pects of this story are abun­dant, but may also help peo­ple iden­tify the thief. The editorial letter has ul­ti­mately led to the un­cov­er­ing of a se­ries of bizarre thefts that por­tray a thief who seems so daft he may be bril­liant, but he is unar­guably re­source­ful and ridicu­lous.

The calf in ques­tion was stolen at ap­prox­i­mately 10:15 PM. The barn was checked shortly be­fore the thief en­tered the barn and stole Rocky. Mrs. Smith heard a car pulling away shortly af­ter re­turn­ing to the house. Not long af­ter she heard a calf bawl­ing on the front lawn so she went to in­ves­ti­gate and dis­cov­ered the barn lights on, the barn door wide open, a bawl­ing mother cow, and her baby, Rocky, miss­ing.

The po­lice were called at this point and it was dis­cov­ered that the calf was stolen in a small model car. Not a pickup, or even an SUV, but a car. Also miss­ing was a bucket of feed. In his un­ques­tion­able wis­dom, the thief an­tic­i­pated the calf may be hes­i­tant to blithely clam­our into the back­seat of a small ve­hi­cle and may re­quire coax­ing. So he grabbed some feed with which to lure the un­sus­pect­ing baby into the car. He failed to con­sider this calf had never eaten feed and was not yet weaned from its’ mother. But he stole Rocky any­way.

Mr. Smith con­tacted many neigh­bours the fol­low­ing day only to dis­cover there were other thefts the pre­vi­ous night. A sec­ond nearby farm had calves stolen while a third was robbed of $200 worth of feed, gas, and a com­pres­sor hose. He had Farm en­trance where Rocky was stolen. moved his calves out of his barn two days ear­lier so did not have any stolen. One of the farms that was robbed also iden­ti­fied a car leav­ing their drive­way at ap­prox­i­mately 9:00 p.m. that night. Po­lice were able to iden­tify clear tire tracks left by the ve­hi­cle.

Once in a while you find peo­ple that, de­spite their ineptitude, still seem to suc­ceed, at least in the short term. The party re­spon­si­ble for these thefts does not have the req­ui­site re­sources for the efficient theft and main­te­nance of ‘hot calves’, so trans­port­ing such an ob­vi­ously un­ortho­dox com­mod­ity in the back­seat of a car re­ally ought to elicit at­ten­tion. One would hope, any­way. And if it did, wit­nesses are asked to con­tact po­lice.

We have a young girl who has un­wit­tingly cre­ated a lo­cal Crime Stop­pers. We have this child ask­ing the pub­lic to please iden­tify a calf rustler whose get­away ve­hi­cle is a fam­ily car, and who ei­ther has no knowl­edge of, or concern, for the ba­sic care of calves, but steals them any­way.

We also have a se­ries of hard­work­ing lo­cal farm­ers whose live­stock is be­ing stolen and a thief who seems to be get­ting away with it, de­spite his best ef­forts to stand out like a sore thumb dur­ing the ex­e­cu­tion of his crimes.

So, the ques­tion is, what are peo­ple go­ing to do about it? A kid is of­fer­ing chore money as a re­ward purse, some­one has to have seen some­thing sus­pi­cious, and the stolen calves may ac­tu­ally be en­dan­gered. I would be cu­ri­ous to see how many cit­i­zens would be will­ing to throw $10 into the re­ward pot in or­der to help Alexandra flush out her crim­i­nal. I will of­fer the first $10 to the re­ward purse, bring­ing it to $15, and chal­lenge ev­ery­one else to do like­wise.

In con­clu­sion, I think this thief should do at least one smart thing and re­turn Rocky, other­wise this story could get even more in­ter­est­ing. As a mat­ter of fact, I am count­ing on it.

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