HORSE RUSTLING: Owners Warn Of Thieves

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Back in the old days, horse rustling would find you dangling from the end of a short rope. Today, rustling is apparently still happening here in Iowa.

Leann Nelson of Maxwell says she caught a guy just a few weeks ago trying to steal her prize winning horse, Fem. So she confronted him.

“Walked up here and he had a halter on Fem and was getting ready to undo the latch and I asked him, like, ‘can i help you?’  He was like, ‘yeah, I wanna buy this horse’ and I’m like ‘he’s not for sale.'”  Nelson recalls,  “And he was like ‘I was told I can come here and take any horse I want and buy it.'”

She called police and he was warned to stay off the property. We are not identifying him because no criminal charges were filed.  But Nelson says after she talked about what happened on Facebook, several other people came forward and said someone has tried to steal their horses too.

Unfortunately, no one in Polk County filed police reports.

“You need to call the police, call the sheriff’s office whatever jurisdiction you’re in,” says Sgt. Brent Long. “Call the police and let them handle it.  It’s definitely not a safe thing to run up and try to throw somebody off your property.  Let us handle that, that’s what we’re here for.”

Polk County deputies say if you see someone suspicious hanging around horses, call police.

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