More goats stolen, latest in ongoing thefts tormenting Fresno County livestock owners

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Cuverto Hernandez is the latest target in a series of livestock thefts.

He's upset after thieves used the cover of darkness to take two of his goats.

"They're my pets I've had them for years, so I just hope whoever took them brings them back," he said.

Hernandez woke up to the unthinkable.

"My neighbor came knocking on my door saying my goats were on his property," he said.

Thinking the goats broke the fence, he checked only to find it had been cut and two were missing.

This latest theft is not far from the Easton home where 11 goats were stolen last Thursday.

RELATED: Kingsburg family heartbroken after having 11 goats stolen

"All of these cases it seems way too coincidental between Easton down to Riverdale," said Fresno County Sheriff's official Tony Botti. "To have this many reports in this short of a time-span you have to think its the same crew working together."

The Fresno County Sheriffs Ag Task Force has opened 8 cases in the last two months totaling 63 stolen goats.

"We get livestock thefts here and there but to have this many in this short of a time-span, there's a market there, and they're trying to capitalize it, and it's taking from these hard-working people," Botti said.

Adult goats can run anywhere from $125 to $250 each.

But the stolen goats have been found on any buy/sell sites, nor have they turned up at auctions.

RELATED: Good Samaritan finds 4 of the 11 stolen goats belonging to Kingsburg family in Selma

"They're most likely being sold for meat. We don't know if they're lining up buyers ahead of time then stealing the goats and making a quick delivery," Botti said.

Four goats were discovered over the weekend 20 miles from where they had been taken.

The owners say they were ill, likely from the unsafe conditions they were held in.

The Sheriff's office will continue to investigate, they say the thefts aren't slowing down.

Officials are urging livestock owners to invest in surveillance for their property and to lock the animals up at night if possible.
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