Chandler farms targeted by goat thieves

CHANDLER - It's another day at the Lehman family goat farm in Chandler, but Friday, something is different. Two baby goats, just three weeks old, are missing.

"They need to be fed at least three or four times a day, they only weigh 10 pounds," said Rick Lehman.

Sometime between Thursday afternoon and early Friday morning, three-week-old goats Michelangelo and Kalli were taken. The Lehmans insist this was not an animal attack.

"There would have been signs, there would have been blood, you would have seen body parts," said Rick.

Neighbors say this isn't the first time goats have been stolen from the area. "Every day you drive up and you wonder if there's going to be another one gone," said Kris Oldenburg, who farms next door.

Oldenburg says four of her goats were taken off her property in September. "I cried, you raise these from little babies, they're part of your family, and I felt really violated."

Six months ago, three more of the Lehman's goats also disappeared.

Each time, the families file a report with the Arizona Department of Agriculture. They have never recovered their animals.

"Hopefully, someone will see something and say something, or bring them back," cried Karen.

Rick says the thieves can return his animals no questions asked. "But if you don't bring them back and I catch you. The Old West has its own justice."

The families are worried these goats are being killed for food or sold. If you know anything about these incidents, contact the Arizona Department of Agriculture at (602) 542-4373.

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