Tack, more stolen in Black Hills area thefts
August 31, 2017
Several reports have yielded odd criminal actions within the ag community throughout western South Dakota.
There have been reports of stolen vehicles and other smaller items spreading from Rapid City to Hot Springs, and many houses broken into throughout the same area. Stolen items include a saddle, bridles, ropes, spurs, chinks, a custom halter and a gun.
"At this point in time we believe the cases are associated with the same suspects as Fall River County reports," said Steve McMillin, lieutenant investigator at Custer County Sheriff's Office. "It'd be nice if people take extra precautions locking up their houses, buildings and outbuildings and not leaving anything in plain sight in their vehicles and utilize more motion sensors or yard lights. The more steps they take to prevent people from accessing their yard, the less likely they're a victim."
Kelly Conrado, the father of Ivy Conrado, who competed at National Finals Rodeo in barrel racing last December, had his personal saddle lifted off a stall door at Central States Fair in Rapid City on Aug. 22. He left briefly, he said, and came back to clean stalls, unaware at first that the saddle was gone. He grabbed for Tibbie's halter, only to find it missing.
"I didn't realize right away it was gone. I was doing chores and when I clean stalls I take the horses out of the stalls, Tibbie's halter was gone," Kelly said.
Of all the numerous barrel races, clinics and horse events the Conrados have attended, Kelly said he has never had anything of such value stolen nor did he even think anything of leaving his tack and horses unattended.
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"I've had a bit or two lifted off of a saddle in Oklahoma, but I've never had anything that was that substantial or that important taken from me," he said. The Rapid City Police Department was notified of the stolen items and posted a flyer to his Facebook page containing details about his saddle and halter.
The saddle is a 2002 Cecil Phillips with basket weave stamping, wood bell stirrups and silver-laced rawhide cantle. It has silver buckles with the brand Bar over K upside-down Y. The saddle horn was rubber-wrapped and recently redone.
The halter that was taken is a leather halter with CFour "Tibbie" Stinson on the brass plate.
Marlin and Jinx Maude had a barn-alley with pegs containing bridles, spurs, ropes and a pair of chinks stolen, as well as a gun around the same time Conrado's items were stolen. This isn't the first time the Maudes have had guns taken from their home near Hermosa, S.D. About three years ago, 10 guns were stolen from them. They have since ramped up security, locking their tack room and putting guns in a safe. They've never seen their missing guns and don't expect they will find the other items recently stolen.
"We put a gate at entrance, but you can't stop them. If people want to steal, you can't stop them," Jinx said. "We had worked cows all day, and all our outfits were here by the back door; there were billfolds in pickups and they came and got that. I think they were looking for quick cash. I didn't know if they walked in, but we didn't hear any car pull up."
Jinx said two cars were stolen in the town of Hermosa around the same time. They also have no leads and don't know if there is a connection among their stolen tack, Kelly's tack and the stolen cars.
Their tack has been reported to Custer County police.
"The only thing is we wonder where all this stolen stuff is going," Jinx said. "Somebody has to be buying this. That's what's baffling, numerous tools of our neighbors were stolen. Police came this morning, and we gave them all the pictures of the tack we had. Several things are very identifiable, and we had a serial number on the gun."
Insurance will cover some of the stolen items, Jinx expects, but it cannot replace the sentimental items, most notably the chinks with JX2 on each hip.
"All our headstalls have been made by family members and the chinks. It's like they were right at our back door; that's what is more frustrating than the monetary part of it," she said. "You just never really replace it. We live in a bad spot right along the road; it's too convenient for people. It's easy to walk in, and have somebody down the road waiting, probably. We have no idea, you just start wondering."
Jinx's Facebook post offers a substantial reward for the return of their more than 30 headstalls, three to four chinks with one pair having a JX2 on them and "made by Jed Seim" on the inside belt portion of them, as well as spurs, bullwhips and ropes and a Savage .223 gun with Bushnell Scope.
McMillin said he believes the crimes all lead back to Laney Bacon, who is described by the City of Hot Springs Police Department as a "5'10 Native American male weighing approximately 170 pounds. Bacon has a tattoo on his neckline that extends to his lower right jaw. Bacon is considered to be armed and dangerous." Those with information may contact Fall River County Dispatch at (605) 745-5155. The Hot Springs Police Department posted to their Facebook page Wednesday that Bacon is a "person of interest" in several theft cases. F