LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Taber
Police are trying to rein in a horse hair bandit who's been clipping tails outside of Taber.
Sometime between Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, unknown culprits trespassed onto a property southwest of Taber, slipped unseen into a stable stall farthest from the house, and chopped about 2.5 feet of hair from the tails of two mares, one of which had been posted for sale by owner on an online classifieds website.
"Now (the owner) thinks it's going to be much more difficult to sell because the horse looks quite odd with its tail lopped off," said Const. Kevin Lambert, who's investigating the mischief case for Taber/Vauxhall RCMP.
The horses weren't hurt, but police officers aren't sure whether the unwelcome haircuts arose from simple horsing around, or whether someone was looking to make some quick cash with illegally sourced horsehair crafts.
"We've never had it before, so we're trying to figure out whether it's a prank. The owner told me she doesn't have a problem with anyone, so we don't know whether it's malicious or whether there's some other financial purpose. The horses are not show horses, so there's nothing to do with competition," Lambert said.
Buyers commonly seek horsehair to make everything from jewelry, purses, paintbrushes and bows for musical instruments to fabrics and even furniture. Several online retailers sell horse tail hair, some for more than $400 a pound.
But police in southern Alberta don't commonly deal with horse hair thefts. In the year and a half Lambert has been with the Taber detachment, he's never heard of it happening before.
"I thought, as soon as I heard the call come in, that it was quite odd, yeah," he said. "Bizarre."
Anyone with information on the case can call the detachment at 403-223-4447 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.