BRAZORIA COUNTY, Texas – A convicted livestock thief investigators say was caught with 36 head of stolen cattle in Brazoria County last month is now suspected of stealing more than just animals.
Investigators said Jerome Heath Novak was caught loading cattle into a livestock trailer at an abandoned concrete plant near Iowa Colony by a Brazoria County livestock deputy on May 5.
Recognizing Novak as a convicted cattle thief, the deputy called Brazoria County investigators.
Investigators said the livestock trailer used by Novak was reported stolen in Walker County, and the truck he was using to haul the trailer, while not stolen, had fake license plates.
Investigators said the 36 animals were stolen from sale barns in Nacogdoches and Milam counties.
During their investigation, Novak reportedly confessed to having taken the livestock, and arrangements were made to move the animals—which were dehydrated and under stress—to holding pens near Rosharon.
One of the animals died there, but 35 others were sold through the Navasota Livestock Auction.
After that, investigators went to work and executed five search warrants to recover other stolen property.
Deputies said they found a variety of stolen items in Novak’s possession, ranging from 23 tons of decorative paving stones to roofing material to a stainless steel commercial oven.
In all, the stolen merchandise totaled $153,815, investigators said.
Novak is facing cattle theft charges in Houston County, and the Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office is pursuing felony possession of stolen property charges against him.