Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota farmer has had a busy week after a thief in the night stole 26 of his cattle and sold them as his own.
The thief took what amounted to more than $40,000 in cattle from Bob Ludvigson, who lives in Madison, Minn., and owns the cattle along with his sons.
Ludvigson’s Holsteins weigh between 1,200 to 1,500 pounds, so it was nearly impossible for him not to notice when they went missing last weekend.
Ludvigson said he figured someone had stolen his cattle after he found tire tracks near the loading area.
The theft likely occurred on Jan. 28. It’s suspected that the thief loaded the cattle on to trailers in the middle of the night and just took off.
With no insurance on the Holsteins, Ludvigson and his sons would have suffered a significant loss. Thankfully, the markings on the cattle helped authorities figure out what happened to them.
Police contacted auction lots, where Holsteins matching the description of Ludvigson’s were found in both Benson and Pipestone. After talking to auction officials, police arrested 40-year-old Richard Nelson, of Montevideo.
Authorities said they found other stolen goods at Nelson’s home, including a skid loaded with more than $20,000.
The Ludvigsons were able to get almost all of their money back from the cattle. But even as their cows came home, they are still hoping justice prevails.
“I’m hoping that [Nelson] gets some serious time out it,” Ludvigson said.