Every once in a while, The Annals of True Crime comes through with a True Crime that’s interesting – dare I even say amusing – in nature.
I will submit that one such True Crime is the recent instance of cattle rustling in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, a seacoast town outside of New Bedford.
For starters, there’s the very notion of cattle rustling occurring in New England to begin with.
Of course, there are plenty of cattle herds in New England. It’s just that we don’t think of them that way – let alone as the type to go around getting themselves rustled. Around these parts, most herds are dairy herds, and the bovine generally associated with our neck of the woods is the black and white Holstein that appears on so many Things Vermont, including cartons of Ben and Jerry’s.
Actually, for all I know, the 49 head of cattle rustled up were milk cows, and not the beef on the hoof steers one associates with cowboys. (Let’s face it, the old Western show Rawhide would have been a comedy if Gil Favor, Rowdy Yates, and Wishbone were trying to move along a couple of hundred black and white cows with bursting udders that had to be milked a couple of times a day. Just think of where Clint Eastwood’s career might have ended up if his character Rowdy Yates had been more milkmaid than cowboy. I suspect it might not have ended up with the weirdness of his engaging in a “dialogue” with an empty chair at the Republican National Convention. Just sayin’.)
Fortunately, the good citizens of Dartmouth do not have to fear that their cows by any other name are going to be stolen.
The crime – which ended in the recovery of the missing bovines –
…was an isolated episode perpetrated by someone who did business with the owner. (Source: Boston.com)
40 of the 49 purloined sirloins were found at an auction house in New Holland, Pennsylvania. The others were found closer to home.
“The community certainly doesn’t have to worry about cattle rustlers going around Dartmouth stealing their cows,” Timothy M. Lee, chief of the Dartmouth Police Department, said in an interview Tuesday.
“The Wild West hasn’t moved to Dartmouth.”
Which is too darned bad.
Still, some days it must plain fun to be the chief of the Dartmouth PD.
Less fun, of course, to have been the cattle owner (rancher? baron?), Ahmed Mahmoud. (What better testimony is there to this great nation of ours than to have a cattleman named Ahmed Mahmoud and not Ben Cartwright!) But I’m sure that Mr. Mahnoud is just happy to have his property – valued at $50K - back.
I must note that Chief Lee of the Dartmouth PD may have been a bit too hasty in characterizing the cattle theft as an isolated incident. Perhaps in Dartmouth proper… But not in the general area.
After all, last March, a dozen Holsteins were swiped in nearby Tiverton, Rhode Island.
The alleged thief told police he had stolen them as payment for feedstock. Those cows were valued at $42,000. (Source: Herald News.)
So, milk cows, with their recurring revenue stream are more valuable than run of the mill cattle, which are pretty much one-and-done. Or is it just the cuteness factor with Holsteins?
Meanwhile, for those whose idea of a ranch is the piney and verdant Ponderosa of Bonanza fame, with its resplendent man cave lodge and what appeared to be full ownership of Lake Tahoe, here’s what the farm/ranch where Mr. Mahmoud kept his livestock looks like.
Forget everything you know about the Triple R or South Fork. We’re talking Spahn Ranch look alike contest here, I’m afraid. (I know that Charles Manson’s still in prison, but I do believe Squeaky Fromme is free. Could she be lurking around the fringes? Whether we’re talking all-beef patty or nice cold glass of 2%, I would not want to ingest anything that lived on this place. I want my animals to live in terrain that looks like the Teletubbies’ front yard.)
Meanwhile, thieves beware. Between Dartmouth and Tiverton, you apparently can’t get away with cattle rustling in these parts.
And remember, you could do worse than to live by these words:
Move 'em on, head' em up
Head 'em up, move' em on
Move 'em on, head' em up
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, cut 'em out
Call 'em out, ride 'em in
Don't try to understand 'em
Just rope, throw and brand 'em.