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Three charged after massive cattle theft

Written by on May 12, 2024

Three men have been arrested for the alleged theft of 306 cattle worth some $250,000.

WA Police said the alleged operation took place in October 2022 and involved the unauthorised muster of cattle from an isolated station in the northern part of the state.

“It is alleged the charged persons were responsible for organising and completing an unauthorised muster, of 306 cattle being trucked from Louisa

Downs to the Northern Territory,” the police said on Sunday after announcing the arrests.

“It is further alleged a camp was set up on the Louisa Downs Pastoral Aboriginal Corporation station and earth moving machinery was used to grade a road to an area on the neighbouring Mount Pierre Pastoral Aboriginal Corporation station.

“A portable set of cattle yards were erected at this location to facilitate mustering in this area.

“There were no permissions sought or granted to muster cattle from Mount Pierre Station.”

“Between October 12 and October 24 2022, one of the charged men facilitated a muster using two helicopters and a ground crew, which used bull catching buggies.

“The 306 cattle mustered from Mount Pierre Station and then trucked to a set of cattle yards and tagged as coming from Louisa Downs.”

In January this year, Northern Territory Police executed an extraterritorial search warrant at a property on the Adelaide River at the request of the WA Rural Crime Team, the police said.

“Rural Crime Team officers were able to identify that some of the cattle had been sold and exported,” the police said.

“The average price for the cattle sold at the time was $827.09 per head multiplied by 306 cattle taken, equalled $253,089.54.

“Part proceeds of cattle sales was allegedly deposited into several accounts of the accused people over several months.

On April 16, a 42-year-old man from the Northern Territory and a 41-year-old man and a 39-year-old man from Fitzroy Crossing were charged with stealing, the police said.

The 42-year-old man is next due to appear before the Fitzroy Crossing Magistrates Court on July 9 and the other two are due to appear on May 14.