Stolen horses recovered far from home

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Horse thieves may seem like a thing of the wild west, but in Harris County, GA, they are a real life problem.

Several horses were stolen early this week and have been recovered far away from home.

The victim used the close knit community of horse owners in the valley to get the word out.

"Stealing people's equipment is one thing.  When you steal an animal, you steal a part of your heart.  That's not acceptable," said Debbie Smead, a volunteer of the Begin Again Farms.

Sunday night two horses, a trailer, several saddles and bridles were stolen from the Begin Again Farms in Ellerslie, GA.  It is a shelter for abused and needy horses.

Thursday they were found in North Alabama, dehydrated and neglected, but still alive.

Smead said, "It was a great relief because no one had really been sleeping at night.  We were all upset and depressed because you do not know what happened to them."

Investigators believe the suspects took the horses and equipment to their home, Limestone County, Alabama with plans to sell them.

Harris County Investigator Glenn Presley said, "We do believe whoever is responsible for this theft is also responsible for other burglaries in the area, from Eufaula, and maybe out to Limestone, AL."

A witness positively identified a suspect out of a line up and Investigator Presley hopes an arrest will be made soon.  Investigators say the suspect could face animal cruelty charges in Alabama.  They tell me they will be taking out a warrant for his arrest and he will face burglary charges in Harris County.

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