Judge Issues $1M Bond for Hill County Livestock Thief
KWTX reports a Mt. Calm resident is in custody in the Hill County Jail after being slapped with a $1 million dollar bond. Willie Rittenbaugh is charged with livestock theft and will face a list of additional charges in court today.
Over in Hillsboro, Judge Lee Harris of the 66th District Court set Rittenbaugh's bond at $1 million dollars but says it is probably going to increase as three more felony charges are going to be introduced by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Rangers.
KWTX reports that a person close to the arrest said the bond reflects what is alleged to be "the largest cattle theft in the country". The investigation into the case began a few years ago when a McLennan County man contacted authorities about Rittenbaugh. An individual is said to have purchased more than 1,000 head of bred cows and seven bulls, all given to Rittenbaugh to manage. When the victim asked for delivery of 511 cows and two years' worth of calf crops Rittenbaugh had nothing to deliver.
Authorities are thankful that the cattle allegedly stolen had been branded and are clearly identifiable.