FARMERS across the New England are being urged to check their stock on a regular basis after the latest rural theft – the disappearance of 47 merino wethers from a Wollomombi property.
The missing five-year-old wethers were part of a mob of 562 in a paddock on the property Wattle Grove and were stolen between August 2 and September 14.
The owners were alerted to the theft after finding the paddock gate left open, and after making enquiries with neighbours, couldn’t locate the missing sheep.
After ruling out other options, New England Rural Crime Unit Senior Constable Gavin Berry said the stock, worth about $5000, had definitely been stolen.
“The fences were in good condition and there were no dead sheep in the paddocks,” Senior Constable Berry said.
Two other stock theft incidents since June have taken the number of sheep stolen in the New England region to nearly 250 in the past four months.
A Guyra farmer reported 150 in-lamb merino ewes stolen between June and August and a further 50 in-lamb merino ewes were stolen from a Deepwater property, north of Glen Innes.
Senior Constable Berry said crimes such as these were difficult to solve, and the rural crime unit had no leads on any of the thefts.
He said although it was unlikely the thefts were linked, it couldn’t be ruled out entirely.
The New England Rural Crime Unit police are interested to speak to any person who may be able to assist with any information in relation to the missing stock, including any person who might have been offered similar stock for sale through private means – or any suspicious activity in the area of the thefts.