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Reddersburg: Members of the Stock Theft Unit in Bloemfontein, successfully recovered sheep during a routine specialized operation even before the farmer knew about the alleged stock theft.

Stock theft in the Free State Province is a growing concern for the South African Police Service and in the fight to curb these crimes, members of the Stock Theft Units throughout the Province are working extra hours to address the issue.

During one of these intelligence driven operations, members of the Stock Theft Unit in Bloemfontein, were patrolling along the N6-road when they came across a vehicle that seemed to break down alongside the road with a trailer full of sheep.

They inspected the removal certificate in terms of the Stock Theft Act and suspected it to be a forged removal certificate. In terms of the Stock Theft Act, Act 57 of 1959, no person may transport, drive or convey any stock which he is not the owner of along a public road, unless he is in possession of a removal certificate issued to him by the owner with certain information.

They followed up on the origin of this stock and they discovered that the stock belongs to a farmer in the Smithfield area. When they contacted the farmer, he did not even knew that stock were stolen from his farm. The members confiscated 13 Dorper ewes and arrested the two men that had the stock in their possession.

Upon further investigation, two farm workers on the farm from where the stock were stolen, were arrested as they were allegedly involved in the theft of the stock. Whilst on the farm, the members also discovered a slaughtered sheep in one of the homes of another farm worker. He was also arrested and the police confiscated the carcass.

The Deputy Provincial Commissioner, Crime Detection, Major General Qhobosheane applauded the work done by the members of the Bloemfontein Stock Theft Unit. He emphasized that farmers should be more vigilant during the festive season regarding the safekeeping of their animals as well as the personal safety of them and their loved ones. Also that the police units will be out in numbers to try and curb such crime this festive season.

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