Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

HOUMA, La. (WGNO) — A Houma man is accused of stealing livestock, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Livestock Brand Commission.

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, agents arrested 49-year-old Louis Michael Hess after an investigation revealed he allegedly removed seven heads of cattle from a livestock market without the owner’s permission on Sept. 25.

Agents say the value of the cattle equaled $6,000 and that the crime was caught on surveillance camera. A warrant was issued and on Oct. 3. Hess was arrested while attempting to sell the cattle.

Some of the cattle have since been recovered while an investigation is ongoing to find the rest.

Hess was booked and currently has a bond set at $25,000. LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain said inspectors worked closely with local and state authorities to solve the case.

“With their help, and as the availability of electronic video to capture suspects’ movements on the night of crimes becomes more common, we can continue to identify and prosecute those who perpetrate agricultural crimes and livestock theft such as this,” said Strain.

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