Teens charged in cattle thefts

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Four teens, including a Cassville resident, have been arrested and charged with the theft of cattle in Lawrence County.

Those arrested for the thefts include: Winston Wood, 17, of Cassville; Taylor Mayes, 18, and Marcus Nelson, 18, both of Monett; and Darrion Pierce, 17, of Purdy.

Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay said a tip from an alert employee of a local business and another tip concerning a suspicious vehicle led law enforcement officials to the people believed to be responsible for a series of cattle thefts that has been taking place over the past few weeks.

"After receiving the tip concerning a suspicious vehicle, deputies were sent to an area in southern Lawrence County to search for the vehicle," DeLay said. "A deputy recognized the suspect vehicle matching the description and license plate and quickly caught up to it. The driver was identified, and the deputy conducted an investigation as to the reason the vehicle and its four occupants were in the area."

DeLay said it was later determined that four suspects were in the area stealing calves.

"This is not the first time this has happened," DeLay said. "We believe several attempts, including successful attempts, have been committed by these four in Lawrence, Barry, Jasper and Newton counties."

The four remain in custody at the Lawrence County Jail awaiting their first appearance in court. The investigation continues into how many other areas have been affected.

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