STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. - A man faces charges after police say he stole several goats from two farms in Stafford County. Police say 33-year-old Steven Calleja Jr. stole the goats last weekend.
Six of the eight goats were recovered from the Safa Halal Meat Market in Frederick on Tuesday. FOX 5's Emily Miller spoke with Valerie Komrowski, owner of six of the missing goats, who told her that her husband found the final two goats at the Fredericksburg Auction. "The guy that had them recognized the man arrested and said he sold them to him!" Komrowski told Miller.
Miller first reported on the thefts earlier this week. She spoke with the Komrowski family who said that they realized last Saturday that five of their pet goats were missing from their Stafford County property.
“They’re just so friendly and I just love my little goats,” Valerie Komrowski told Miller on Tuesday.
Heidi Cross, who lives a mile away from Komrowski, told Miller her three female pet goats were also stolen the same night.
“I noticed that their gate was open, which it was latched last night and they were gone. The fence in the back of the property was raised off the ground about 3 feet. And the feed shed was cleaned out of food, hay, the wheelbarrow was taken, all the goat stuff, buckets. Hoof shears gone,” said Cross.
“Like my one goat, he was 300 pounds. I mean, he was a big goat. He had horns 18 inches on both sides, a very good looking stud goat. If I was to put a price on him, I would say $400 to $600,” said Komrowski.
“I think people are rounding them up in this area because they are going to market. They are fetching good prices at sale and it’s an easy, high value target for quick money,” Cross added.
Both Komrowski and Cross told Miller that they thought that the goats would be sold for meat and money.
The families made flyers of their stolen goats, and the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the crime as a livestock larceny.
Animal control officers processed the two crime scenes for fingerprints, footprints and tire prints.
The owners said that the goats were stolen along with hay and feed, which means that the goats may have been kept alive for a period of time.
“This case is a perfect example of the media, the public and the Sheriff’s Office working together to solve crime,” stated Sheriff David Decatur said.
Calleja Jr. faces two charges of Felony Larceny of an Animal.