Friday, June 15, 2007

Oklahoma Horse Theft Alert

The following Alert is from Stolen Horse International. Please take care to protect your horses.

Oklahoma Horse Owners Take Heed

While Holly, Halston, and Cody are home safely, your horse could be stolen next.

By Angela Kirby

Currently, there is growing concern regarding stolen and missing horses in the state of Oklahoma, specifically Oklahoma County. Stolen Horse International, aka NetPosse, has processed several reports that seem to be more than coincidence. While NetPosse only receives a fraction of the estimated thousands of thefts each year, trends can be seen in data collected, and the amount of thefts in Oklahoma is alarming.

Susan Ballard awoke last Christmas morning to find that her paint roping gelding, JP Cody Moon, had been stolen Christmas Eve from his stall in Harrah, Okla., after thieves cut through a fence and led him to an awaiting trailer.

Four months later, on April 20, in nearby Oklahoma City, the Wilson family made a startling discovery – Anne Wilson’s wedding gift from 25 years before had been stolen from her stall during the night. Thieves bypassed the younger paint horses and targeted her beloved Holly Belle, a sorrel quarter horse mare.

A few days after the theft, Anne learned about NetPosse and immediately filed a report. The day after the Idaho Alert (the horse community’s Amber Alert) was sent out for Holly, the Wilson’s received a strange call from a man saying he had her horse. The transaction that took place that evening was suspicious at best, but Anne, drained from the worry during the previous week over Holly, was too relieved to have her mare back to think clearly. It was not until a few days later that things began to fall into place.

After contacting Stolen Horse International about Holly, Anne mentioned that she was aware of other thefts. Shortly thereafter, Halston, a Spanish mustang gelding stolen on April 14, was listed with SHI. Following Holly’s return home, Halston was quickly located and recovered. Then the news Susan Ballard had been waiting for came – five months after his theft, on May 29, Cody had been found alive!

The case broke under the diligence of the lead investigator, David Spears, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, who pieced together the thefts of several more area horses, including another mare belonging to a 12-year-old girl. As of June 13, 2007, Spears indicated that the investigation was proceeding well. However, in an effort to protect the investigation, it is not possible to release details of the criminal activity surrounding these thefts. But suffice it to say, if you live in Oklahoma, specifically Oklahoma County, your horse could be in danger.

These horses were stolen from stalls and pastures. None of these horses had permanent identification, but all were fortunate. Spears has been determined and relentless in his efforts to locate other stolen and missing horses that could be connected to these cases, and will continue to make efforts to eliminate this criminal activity.

Until the thieves are brought to justice, NetPosse founder and president, Debi Metcalfe, cannot stress enough the importance of taking preventative measures that can be found on NetPosse’s website:

If you have a horse that is missing or stolen, please contact NetPosse today so that we can help. It is imperative that anyone in Oklahoma that has been a victim email or call so that we take a report and then pass along your information to investigating officers.

These horses are being targeted for a specific reason, and the purpose of this notice is not to overly frighten owners, but to cause you to take proactive measures so that your horse isn’t the next one stolen.

For more information on horse theft prevention or to view the horses listed with Stolen Horse International, please visit us on the Web at

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