Thieves steal 20 cows from Johnson County barn

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File photo of a calf

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. – You can call it a bovine break-in, cattle rustling or just downright theft.

Sheriff’s deputies are searching for thieves responsible for stealing 20 cows, valued at more than 21 thousand dollars, from a barn in Johnson County.

The sheriff’s department was called to the Johnson County Sales Pavilion/ Amity Sale Barn in the 3000 block of South Old US 31 Tuesday afternoon.

The manager of the sales barn told police he purchased 20 cows on Monday and they were being kept in a holding pen at the barn until the sale Tuesday evening.

That’s when an employee noticed the theft.

“When I talked to my man he said they were all gone.  I said they had to be there, but then I called the trucker and he hadn’t even got there, so it became clear someone took ‘em,” said Rick Teverbaugh.

He says the suspects cut two locks and chains, then backed their truck and trailer onto a loading dock.  In other words, they came prepared.

“It’s definitely somebody that knows there’s cattle here.  This wasn’t a guy who drove down the road.  It’s definitely somebody that knew something,” said Teverbaugh.

Regretfully, he knows if the suspects hit the road and drove out of state, he’ll like never see the cattle again.

“I would say they’ve already been sold at another sale.  They could take them anywhere from Ohio, Illinois or Kentucky,” said Teverbaugh.

He said he uses the barn in Johnson County to store cattle before auctions.  After the theft, he’ll change the way he does business.

“The thing that comes to mind is in 16 years I’ve left a lot of things here and never thought twice about it.  Now that will change.

If the thief sees this, there’s no need to come back because there will be no cattle here.  I promise you that,” said Teverbaugh.

The sheriff says cattle rustling reports this large are very rare. So far, no arrests have been made and detectives did not have any suspect information to give out.

If you have any information about the theft, please call the sheriff’s office tip-line at (317) 346-4654.

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