Carthage, Texas – A Texas woman was arrested Friday and charged with theft of Livestock after stealing one cow from a neighboring rancher in Panola County.
Panola County Constable of precincts 2 and 3, Mitch Norton led the investigation, with Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Rangers Larry Hand and Jimmy Dickson assisting.
The suspect, Stacie Laine Soape, 42, of Carthage, Texas was arrested Oct. 17 after a lengthy investigation. Norton received a tip on July 1 referencing one cow sold by a person who didn’t own cattle. After receiving the tip, Norton called Hand to assist with the investigation.
According to Hand, the unbranded cow was sold at an east Texas livestock auction on June 28 and was traced to a ranch in Cherokee County where it was eventually identified by the owner with a photograph.
“This cow wasn’t branded, however branding is a rancher’s best line of defense against cattle rustling,” said Hand. “Also, some do not realize many cattle thefts aren’t solved in the county in which the crime was committed. Once cattle are loaded onto a trailer, they become very mobile and can easily be carried to nearby counties or other states. This is when TSCRA Special Rangers play a vital role in helping solve livestock crimes.”
Other parties involved in this offense are expected to be referred to the Panola County Grand Jury by District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson.
TSCRA would like to thank the Panola County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in this investigation.