A police officer happened upon a 150 lb. calf, believed to be stolen, while inspecting a man’s car early Wednesday morning in Riverside.
The officer made the discovery after spotting two people standing next to the parked car behind a closed auto shop near Arlington Avenue and Norwood Avenue at about 1:50 a.m., according to the release.
Cesar Zamora or Riverside was wanted on narcotics violations so the officer began searching his vehicle. No narcotics were found, but a 3-day-old Jersey Calf was discovered nestled on the floor board in the back of the compact car.
According to the release, the calf appeared to have had its ID tags forcefully removed from its ears and the suspects claimed to have purchased the calf at a local gas station for $200.
Zamora didn’t have any documentation regarding the purchase and the removal of the ID tags, so police arrested him for charges related to the possession of the calf without ownership documentation. He was also arrested for his previous narcotics violations.
Police said Riverside County Animal Services placed the calf in animal foster care pending the outcome of the investigation. According to animal services, the calf is now being fostered at a dairy farm in Ontario.
Sgt. Cynthia Lee with Riverside County Animal Services responded to the call.
She’s been working in animal control for 16 years and said this was a first for her.
According to officials, ten or so years ago it wouldn’t have been unusual to lose a calf through theft, but catching a thief in the act was very much uncommon.
Police believe the calf may have been stolen and are asking anyone missing a calf to call the Riverside Police Department at (951) 826-5700.