A Lampasas farmhand has been arrested and charged with stealing cattle from his 97-year-old stepdad, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association said.
Bryan Andrew McBrayer, 49, faces charges of theft of cattle against an elderly individual after authorities said he sold nine head of cattle belonging to his stepfather. In Texas, crimes can carry an enhanced penalty if the victim is 65 years old or older.
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The investigation began last November, when the stepfather reported cattle missing from his property. Special Ranger Kenny Murchison determined that when McBrayer took his stepdad's cattle to be auctioned at a Lampasas cattle market, he took additional bovines and sold them under his own name, netting around $7,500 in profits.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is empowered by the Texas Department of Public Safety to investigate agriculture-related crimes like livestock rustling and theft of farm equipment. Jeremy Fuchs, a spokesman for the association, said special rangers investigated 712 cases last year.
"Taking advantage of one of our senior citizens is what makes this intolerable crime even worse," Fuchs said.
McBrayer has been released on bond and is currently awaiting trial.