Portales man charged with cattle theft

By Casey Peacock: Freedom Newspapers

A 29-year-old Portales man was arrested last week and charged with cattle theft, according to a press release from the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s office.

Christopher Neil Gay, 29, stole five heifers and a calf a month ago from a ranch on N.M. 267 near Floyd, according to police. Police located the stolen cattle at Gay’s home on Baseline Road, police said.

Police identified the stolen cattle by brands and ear tags, according to Chief Deputy Malin Parker.

Police believe Gay was in the process of stealing more cattle from the same area Friday when he was arrested following a traffic stop on the Floyd Highway, according to the release. A witness who was familiar with the first theft told police he saw Gay and a female companion penning cattle in the same manner as the earlier theft.

Police found approximately 20 head of cattle in a set of pens at the same ranch as the earlier theft, Parker said.

Police believe Gay would pen the cattle and go back later and load them.

Police seized six cattle from Gay’s property Friday and 19 Saturday after executing several search warrants, according to Parker. A livestock trailer was also seized.

“Being that this is a 2,500 square mile county, it is always an asset and benefit to the sheriff’s office when citizens call in suspicious activity,” said Sheriff Darren Hooker.

Gay is charged with larceny of livestock, receiving stolen property over $2,500 and under $20,000 and an attempt to commit a felony.

Gay was released Friday from the Roosevelt County Detention Center on a $25,000 bond, Parker said.

Parker said more arrests are possible.

A call to Gay’s residence Thursday was not returned.