Cops crack down on ‘established network’ of cattle crooks in WA’s north

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Cops crack down on ‘established network’ of cattle crooks in WA’s north

WA cops are cracking down on cattle rustling in the state’s north, with two people charged over the alleged theft of more than 800 cattle as a dedicated operation sets out to smash what police have described as an “established criminal network”.

Operation Topography, run by WA Police’s rural crime squad, is targeting the theft and sale of cattle in the Mid West, Gascoyne and Pilbara.

Livestock in a truck, and damage to an ear, highlighted by police as they launch an operation targeting cattle rustling in WA’s north.

Livestock in a truck, and damage to an ear, highlighted by police as they launch an operation targeting cattle rustling in WA’s north. Credit:WA Police

Police say the criminal networks targeted under Operation Topography are comprised of people and companies linked to the cattle business, including musterers, livestock trucking companies, truck drivers, stock agents, abattoirs and feed lots.

A 43-year-old man and 37-year-old woman from the Upper Gascoyne have been charged over the alleged theft of 803 cattle worth about $800,000.

The pair are set to appear in the Carnarvon Magistrates Court on March 15, each facing six charges of stealing, six charges of property laundering, and one charge of receiving.

Rural crime squad Detective Sergeant Paul Matthews said the arrests were just the start of the squad’s operation.

“People involved in committing these crimes will be caught, their assets will be seized and they will be put before the courts,” he said.

“Heavy penalties apply for these offences, including lengthy terms of imprisonment.”

Rural crime squad officers are urging anyone with information about the theft or sale of stolen livestock to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au.

People may remain anonymous if they wish.

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