Rural Crime Squad commenced Operation Topography to combat an Established Criminal Network involved in the theft and subsequent sale of cattle across the state. The operation will continue until all known Criminal Networks are disbanded.
The Criminal Networks are comprised of individuals and companies linked to the business of cattle including aerial and ground musterers, livestock trucking companies, truck drivers, stock agents and feed lots.
In the first phase of this operation, Rural Crime Squad officers charged a 43-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman with offences relating to the theft and sale of 803 cattle valued at approximately $800,000.
In the second phase of this operation, Rural Crime Squad officers charged a 64-year-old man from Brunswick on 4 March 2021. It is alleged between May and September 2020, the man was part of a syndicate that stole over 186 head of cattle valued between $130,000 and $200,000.
The man is due to appear before the Karratha Magistrates Court on 31 March 2021, charged with:-
• Four counts of Stealing as a Servant; and
• Four counts of Laundering Property/Money.
On 10 March 2021, Detectives arrested a 37-year-old man from Carnarvon after he allegedly stole cattle and sold them for approximately $60,000. He has been charged with:-
• Two counts of Stealing; and
• One count of Property Laundering.
On 11 March 2021, Detectives arrested a 41-year-old man from Woodbridge after he allegedly used his position as a stock agent to sell stolen cattle. He has been charged with:-
• Five counts of Property/Money Laundering.
The 37-year-old man and the 41-year-old man are both due to appear before the Carnarvon Magistrates Court on 29 March 2021.
Rural Crime Squad officers urge anyone with information relating to the theft or sale of stolen livestock to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au. People reporting information may remain anonymous if they wish.