Suspected cattle rustlers rounded up in Lancaster

The three alleged cattle rustlers used a fake check to purchase a Black Angus bull in Oklahoma, authorities said. The bull was found lying on the ground at a Lancaster ranch with a possible broken back. The animal had to be euthanized, authorities said.

LANCASTER – Three people were busted recently for stealing a Black Angus bull and 14 head of cattle in Oklahoma and then transporting the animals to a Lancaster ranch in a stolen stock trailer.

Santos Zapata, 23, of Lancaster, Ryan Ross, 30, of Arkansas and Lucia Castillo, 34, of Missouri were arrested last week for animal cruelty and vehicle theft. All three suspects will be sent back to Oklahoma where they will face criminal charges, officials said.

The following is the press report from the Lancaster Station:

Lancaster Station detective Williams was contacted by a “Brand Inspector” from the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture, Bureau of Livestock Identification around 6:30 p.m., Tuesday (10/23).

The inspector told Williams that he was investigating a case of livestock theft that had occurred in the state of Oklahoma on Friday (10/19).

The incident began when the three suspects allegedly used a fraudulent check to purchase a “Black Angus” bull from a rancher in Oklahoma.

The trio then drove to a nearby stock auction where they used another fraudulent check to buy an additional 14 head of cattle. After loading all of the animals into a stock trailer, the suspects began their modern day “Cattle Drive” back to California.

The brand inspector told Williams that the suspects’ truck had been traced to a ranch in the 45300 block of 60th Street West, Lancaster.

When Williams and other officers met the inspector at the ranch, they saw the suspects attempting to leave the location in the truck with the stock trailer in tow.

All three of the suspects were detained.

During the investigation, the inspector learned that the suspects had sold the 14 head of cattle on Monday (10/22) at two separate stock auctions in Riverside and Bakersfield.

During the inspection of the property, the deputies found the Black Angus bull lying on the ground inside a corral. The bull was badly injured and appeared to have suffered a broken back.

Animal Control officers and a local veterinarian were called to the scene to evaluate the bull’s injuries. It was determined that the bull was in a significant amount of pain. Due to his injuries he was immediately euthanized by the Veterinarian.

The deputies also discovered that the license plate, mounted on the stock trailer the suspects used to transport the stolen animals, had been stolen from a vehicle in Kern County. After further investigation, they learned that the trailer had been reported stolen in the state of Arkansas.

Arrested were, Santos Zapata, Lancaster, Ryan Ross, Arkansas and Lucia Castillo, Missouri. All three are facing charges of animal cruelty and vehicle theft.

Their court date has been set for Friday, November 9. Additionally, all three suspects will be sent back to the state of Oklahoma where they will face criminal charges.

  18 comments for “Suspected cattle rustlers rounded up in Lancaster

  1. HM
    November 3, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Bastards!! I go by that place everyday..they deserve being called every bad name in the book..and worse! FN, sleazeball, lowlife trash, scumbags..illegals?? or just more sleazy cholos?

    • DDTAP
      November 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm


  2. Tyrus
    November 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    @Reynesia, Damn Ghetto Compton Cowboys stealing steaks.

  3. taz1516
    November 1, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    only in Lancaster wow made me laugh to funny except for the poor bull
    hopefully the meat didn’t go to waste it could feed a lot of people or the cat house in Rosamond

  4. Wylda Rose
    November 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Give me 5 minutes with these asstards and they would have a whole new understanding of “justice”.

    • Hector
      November 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      I see that another troll gave another valid comment a thumbs down.

      • Milos
        November 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm

        No doubt a relative of one of the rustlers.

        • Hector
          November 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm

          Damn rustler-relatives….just as bad as car-jacker relatives.

      • November 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

        Maybe it was the name calling that got the thumbs down. Not the sentiment.

        • Hector
          November 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm

          Yeah, but the only people who were called names were the rustlers and the trolls….they deserve it.

          • Milos
            November 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm

            I think name calling is better than buttered popcorn.

          • nokitty
            November 3, 2012 at 12:44 am

            Words can destroy. What we call each other
            ultimately becomes what we think of each
            other, and it matters.

          • Hector
            November 3, 2012 at 8:30 am

            Nokitty, remember the long lost term “sticks and stones”? Try calling a criminal a bad name some time…it’ll make ya feel good.

        • Wylda Rose
          November 2, 2012 at 9:38 pm

          No name calling here, just telling it like I see it. Sorry if honesty is disturbing.

          • Frank Rizzo
            November 3, 2012 at 7:32 am

            You hurt my feeeeeeeeeeelings man!

          • November 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm

            Calling names is your attempt to control and unleash your frustrations on someone else. I am sure you find name calling truly to be an experience that you can only label as catharsis. In that moment you think you are the master of someone else’s fate.

  5. Bob
    November 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Hmm, if only we could handle them like they use to handle rustlers back in the day.

    The intent to defraud, and willingness to hurt an animal, is ridiculous. Chances are these guys are career problems, especially judging by the fact they they stole one plate to put on a stolen trailer, drive across the country, etc etc.

    Also, the 45300 block is pretty much next to the Mira Loma Detention Facility and Lancaster/AV Correctional Facility/California State Prison.

  6. T-Bone
    November 1, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    The AV does still have a little Country left!!

Comments are closed.