Sulphur Bluff, Texas – A Sulphur Bluff, Texas man was arrested in Hopkins County today and charged with theft of livestock after failing to return 125-160 head of cattle he was grazing on his pasture back to the owner in West Texas.
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Toney Hurley and Hopkins County investigators jointly conducted this investigation.
According to Hurley, the suspect, Lindy Wayne Shipley, 48, Sulphur Bluff, provided grazing land in northeast Texas to a West Texas rancher for the past two years. The suspect provided the grazing for approximately 250 head of cattle at $20 per head each month. When the owner of the cattle sent trucks to the grazing land between Sulphur Bluff and Saltillo to return them to West Texas, Shipley was over 100 head of cattle short of the original count. Hurley said authorities are unsure where the missing cattle are located and the investigation is ongoing.
Shipley was arrested by Hurley today at the Hopkins County Jail for theft of livestock over $150,000 and less than $300,000. His bond was set at $250,000 on the felony charge.
“It is common for ranchers located in West Texas to send cattle to northeast Texas for grazing due to lack of rain and grass,” said Hurley. “In this case, the suspect was not able to produce the entire total amount of cattle he was being paid to graze and oversee on his pasture. Additionally, the suspect didn’t have a good explanation of the location of the missing cattle. Thanks to the help of Hopkins County investigators, we were able to arrest another cattle thief.”
TSCRA would like to thank the Hopkins County investigators for their work throughout this investigation.
TSCRA has 30 special rangers stationed strategically throughout Texas and Oklahoma who have in-depth knowledge of the cattle industry and are trained in all facets of law enforcement. All are commissioned as Special Rangers by the Texas Department of Public Safety and/or the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
TSCRA is a 139-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 17,000 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 50,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production who manage 4 million head of cattle on 76 million acres of range and pasture land primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, but throughout the Southwest.