A thief shot three cows while stealing a calf from a Castro Valley rancher over the weekend, an Alameda County sheriff's sergeant said.
The rancher on Eden Canyon Road discovered at about 7 a.m. Saturday that three of his cows had been shot and killed and a calf had been stolen, sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly said.
The thief had also taken the ears off of the dead cows, removing their identifying tags, Kelly said.
It appears the thief shot the cows in an effort to steal the unmarked and unbranded calf. By shooting the calf's mother, the calf wouldn't run when the thief moved in to steal it, Kelly said.
"It's a particularly heinous way to go about stealing the calf," Kelly said. "It's completely uncalled for."
The thief will likely take the calf to a livestock sale, where it could fetch him several hundred dollars, Kelly said.
The sheriff's office is looking for leads in the case and is asking anyone with information to call 510-667-3602 or a tip line at 510-667-3622.