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Literally, where's the beef? State case features cattle rustling

Theft crimes in North Carolina encompass many distinct possibilities, ranging widely from various acts of employee theft and mainstream white-collar fraud accusations to unlawful concealment of merchandise, shoplifting and larceny.

Indeed, there is a veritable cornucopia of riches -- a treasure trove, if you will -- available in a state prosecutor's statutory and common-law playbook that allow for the criminal investigation and charging of a North Carolina resident with some type of theft-related crime.

Even cattle rustling.

Now, that charge is likely not something that most of our readers across the state would readily contemplate while they think of theft crimes. Somehow, stealing a cow doesn't readily come to mind in the same manner that charges like bank or office-related embezzlement or identity theft do.

Still, for sheer novelty and outright brazenness, few things -- except perhaps in Texas -- would seem to rival the misappropriation of cattle.

Singular or not, we note the recent media account concerning the theft of highly valued cattle from a ranch in Alamance County.

Imagine the discovery of that crime by the cattle owner, who made an accurate check of his herd in January. When he did a head count again in April, he discovered that 189 Angus beef cows were missing. Moreover, many of them were replaced by "cheaper grade cows."

A man has been arrested -- formally, on an embezzlement charge -- in the case.

And that defendant is of course going to need the strong and focused assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Cattle theft defense undoubtedly spells subject matter that can be somewhat anomalous for defense counsel, but a proven defense attorney is certainly up to the task and won't stray -- as did those Angus cows -- from strategy that focuses firmly on an optimal client outcome.

Source: Winston-Salem Journal, "Man charged in connection to cattle rustling case," author uncited, May 15, 2015

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