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Victorian man, woman arrested on cattle theft charges

Nov. 14, 2012 at 5:14 a.m.

Maurice Mathis

DID YOU KNOW?

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association has more than two dozen commissioned peace officers who serve as special rangers and investigate about 1,000 agricultural crime cases each year and recover an average of $5 million in stolen cattle and assets for ranchers each year. TSCRA special rangers are commissioned through the Texas Department of Public Safety or the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Those special rangers stationed along the Texas/Oklahoma border are dually commissioned to investigate agricultural crime in both states.

A Victoria man and woman were arrested Saturday on charges of stealing seven head of cattle from the Cuero Livestock Commission and seven from a rancher in Yoakum.

Kimberly Villarreal, 23, of Victoria, was charged with one count of felony livestock theft, and Maurice Mathis Jr., 25, of Victoria, was charged with two counts of felony livestock theft in DeWitt and Lavaca counties, according to a news release from the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

They were arrested in Polk County and transferred to the DeWitt County Detention Center.

Villarreal was released after posting bail on a $20,000 bond. Mathis remains in the DeWitt County jail on a $20,000 bond.

Mathis has also been charged in Lavaca County, and that bond has been set at $80,000, according to the news release.

TSCRA special rangers Gary Baros and Jimmy Belt, led the investigation. All the stolen cattle were recovered and returned to their rightful owners, according to the news release.

Baros said that authorities are continuing to investigate these crimes and more theft charges could be issued in the coming weeks.

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