Thief shoots three cows, steals calf from rancher

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (KTVU) -- The Alameda County Sheriff's Office is investigating a brutal crime on a Castro Valley ranch where someone shot three cows dead -- including two animals that were due to birth calves in a month -- and stole a week-old calf.

The shooter also cut off one of the animal's ears.

"It just bugs you there are people out there in the world that do that kind of thing," lamented rancher, Josh Peixoto. "You work hard to get these cattle going, and just like that, you have somebody...just drive by and think they can just shoot the cattle."

Peixoto noticed a few of his cattle missing about a week ago. He then found their corpses in a pasture he doesn't check as frequently as the others.

"It hurts you 'cause that's my revenue right there," he said.

Peixoto estimates over the lives of the cows, it's about a $50,000 loss.

"It's just not a good deal all around," said Peixoto. "And I hope whoever did it doesn't come back, because I'll find them!"

Peixoto is a fifth generation rancher in Castro Valley. He has 30 cows on his 300-hundred acre ranch.

"I mean, look at 'em! They're awesome," Peixoto said with his cows "moo"ing in the background. "You're in nature all day long working with animals and stuff. And that's what I love to do."

He said sheriff's investigators found 9mm bullet casings along Eden Canyon Road, which runs along the pasture where the cows were shot.

"Sometimes people come out here to shoot their guns and to be not very smart and do stupid things," Peixoto said.

He's moved his remaining cattle and calves to a pasture farther in on his ranch, away from potential danger.

The sheriff's office is looking for leads in the case and is asking anyone with information to call (510) 667-3602 or a tip line at (510) 667-3622.