Thieves target saddles, tack

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WAITSBURG — The Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a string of burglaries in the Waitsburg and Walla Walla area in which thieves have absconded with tens of thousands of dollars of horse saddles and other tack.

“Historically, I don’t think we’ve had a lot of saddles taken,” Detective Gary Bolster said today. “Saddles are big and cumbersome, and fairly easily recognizable.”

The most recent report came Friday, when Laura Minnick reported her tack room was burglarized. with nearly $16,000 of Western and English tack reported stolen.

Last week, county Commissioner Perry Dozier reported several saddles valued at roughly $12,000 were taken. According to police reports, the theft marked the second time Dozier’s property was burglarized since August.

A Walla Walla resident, Alvino Mata, also reported horse tack stolen from a property on Old Milton Highway.

Undersheriff Edward Freyer said the thieves are likely not targeting horse tack, despite the common theme.

“It’s probably just a target of opportunity,” Freyer said.

According to reports, a theft of multiple firearms and jewelry from a property owned by Jack McCaw could be linked to the theft of the saddles.

According to Bolster, it is still too early to say if the thefts are all definitely linked. Bolster and Freyer both stressed he importance of community watch programs, and encouraged people to report suspicious activity.

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