1 Nov 2023

Cattle thieves take more than 50 cows from South Auckland farm

From Checkpoint, 5:47 pm on 1 November 2023

Cattle rustlers have hit a South Auckland stud farm, swiping more than 50 cattle and with them priceless genetics.

Some 22 breeding cows and 29 calves have been stolen from farmers Kirstine Lereculey and Phillip Jackson near Glenbrook.

Lereculey told Checkpoint the cattle were taken during a wet night, from a remote paddock and the thieves knew what they were doing.

"We're not the only farm that it's happened to and somebody else has got footage further down the road in their farm of a ... furniture truck. We don't know if it's related at all but it's out of place in the middle of the night in that remote area."

They only bought the Kokonga Hereford studs in Feburary this year.

"All our heifers and calves have specific genetics ... we can't get them back. There's no amount of money that we can buy those ... it's not like we can buy more cows because they don't have those genetics."

She said all the stolen cattle could sell for a price "in the six figures".

Lereculey was not sure what the thieves would do with the cattle, "breeding I guess, homekill, because it doesn't make sense".

She said police were notified immediately and a forensic team got involved.

"... but it was outdoors, it was pouring with rain, it was so muddy, there's tyre tracks, but ... they didn't feel that there'd be any forensic evidence.

"They have been constantly in touch with us trying to find information and look at motorway cameras and local cameras, but they haven't found anything.

"We have door knocked every camera we can see in the vicinity of the farm and other people's properties and it is amazing how many cameras are just decoy cameras."

She was "absolutely gutted" and said in the past month there had been five such robberies.

The stolen cattle had name tags, she said, adding that "New Zealanders are smart enough to know really cheap cattle would be a red flag and to call the stock agent and call the police".

Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact police on 105.