Trumbull County cattleman suspects rustlers

BROOKFIELD, Ohio – A Trumbull County beef producer discovered 12 head of feeder calves missing from his pasture earlier this month.

Don Rust, 2701 Orangeville Road, called Brookfield police July 6 to report the theft of 12 crossbred calves, each weighing between 200 and 350 pounds. The Angus-Limousin crossbred calves, worth about $3,000, are a mixture of red and black coloring.

Rust said there was no sign of a fence break to indicate the cattle got out on their own. Gates to the 60-acre field are locked and showed no sign of tampering.

Police are checking with area auctions where the calves might have been taken for sale, but since they could have been missing from as early as May 25, the results have not been encouraging.

They are planning to put the theft on the local Crimebusters television show next week to see if that will generate any leads.

Distinctive hair growth. The cattle have blue or orange ear tags and would have distinctive hair growth differences on the left flank where Rust clipped the cattle to try to apply a freeze brand earlier this year.

Rust said the “O” or “R” brand didn’t take on most of the calves, but that the hair would be shorter in that area where the calves were clipped.

The calves were part of a grouping of 35 feeder calves that were being fed out on Rust’s mother’s farm, which is immediately adjacent to his farm.

Brookfield Police Chief Dan Faustino said the area has easy access, and can be approached from several directions. It is just off a couple of major roads, or it can be approached by back roads. It would not be a difficult place to get in and out of without being seen, he said.

Rust is not certain how long the calves have been missing. “I never bother counting them, you take for granted they’re all there,” he said.

He reported three calves missing last year; they were not recovered. There have been no other cattle thefts reported to the Brookfield police.

The Trumbull County Farm Bureau is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals involved with the theft.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Brookfield police at 330-448-4044.

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