RBB (the public-TV of Berlin) put out this news piece and I spent a while reading it, and re-reading it. So, this is the basic story of a very unique crime which Germany has not really faced in modern times....cattle-rustling.
Yeah, it could be told from the prospective of a guy from Texas or Oklahoma....but this is from Brandenburg.
The cops in Brandenburg have finally gotten enough political pressure and public frustration....that they have to change their tactics, and put some major effort into this problem....so a special commission is going to form up and discuss the problem and how to go against it.
The main area of focus is around the Markisch-Oderland area. We can refer to the area as the 'badlands of Germany'. Here on the 'frontier', an area about ten miles east of Berlin and stretching to the Polish border....it's mostly rural and farms.
The population stands out at around 190,000 but this is mostly just a couple of major towns where people live in the shadow of Berlin, go there for their work or occupation, and retreat each night to the comfort of a quiet town without all the hustle and bustle of Berlin. Farms populate the landscape and folks like the quiet nature of the region.
So, cattle have been stolen on a regular basis. One local farm had 30 head of cattle that just disappeared overnight....gone without a trace. Cops say it's a routine thing now....20 to 30 farmers who walk out into a field and kinda notice that their herd has been thinned out.
The cops and their reaction? "The thieves must be absolute
All of these events occur mostly at night and people tend to think that they must be crossing over the border.
So far....there's never been a single case solved....so they can only use speculation about where the cattle are headed. Maybe it is straight east into Poland. Maybe it's just two German guys and pick up a dozen cows and sell them off to some German butcher who doesn't ask questions. Some speculation is centered on the cattle ending up in the Ukraine, but you'd have to transport the cattle almost 800 km or approximately 9 hours of driving across Poland to make this successfully work....hoping no Polish cops would stop you.
Cops say that for 2016....they are at a peak on damages to local farmers....240,000 Euro (roughly 260,000 dollars).
If you look at the numbers....it's a fairly decent trade that this guy has gotten up. It's probably two guys....a truck big enough to handle 15 to 20 head of cattle, and they likely use back-roads across Poland to reach the Ukraine where they sell the cattle for local pricing. My guess is that they make sixty-percent of what the beef would have gone for in Germany....so for all of last year, their take was probably in the 150,000 Euro range.
Odds of the cops ending this cattle rustling business? It's hard to say.
They will have to make a mistake on down the line, where some camera notes their truck passing the border at 3AM and cops get the Polish cops active to locate the truck.