AURORA, Colo. -- Some western traditions of Colorado’s past are still popular today. Stock show, cowboy boots and cow rustling. Cow rustling? It’s true, Wednesday night over 50 head of cattle were reported stolen from an Arapahoe county ranch.
The cattle were stolen from the Wooters Ranch in east Aurora, and investigators say the thieves did it the old-fashioned way, on horseback.
Cattle, tumbleweeds and cowboys. Hard to believe this is East Aurora, "I hate to see all the development but you know it’s coming,” said Ray Wooters, Aurora rancher.
What’s even harder to believe is 52 head of prime angus cattle were stolen from Wooters ranch around 9:20 Wednesday night.
Total value of the loss is around $75,000. The heist has left Wooters ”just dumbfounded, I mean, and the direction they’re going is going back towards town. It doesn’t make any sense."
So how does Wooters know what direction the thieves took? Simple, just follow the tracks. “They evidently drove them on horseback and we have lost their trail, we don’t know where they ended up.“
Fellow rancher and good friend Elmer Hamann has been following the trail since Thursday morning.
The illegal cattle drive went four miles north of Wooters ranch then due west into Aurora, and actually crossed E470 ... then the trail went cold.
Problem Solvers contacted the Colorado Cattlemen‘s Association and we were told hundreds of cattle are stolen in Colorado every year, and the thieves are likely heading to states that do not require brand inspections at the point of sale.
"We’re going out, trying to do some more tracking today, and try to figure where they loaded them out."
Late Friday afternoon a family member told FOX31 the tracks were traced to a place in Aurora where it looks like the animals were loaded onto a semi.
Back in the day cow thieves were hanged. Today, Wooters just hopes to get his cattle back.