Ventura County Sheriffs Deputies arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of stealing five horses, four of them miniature horses.
On Thursday, February 28th, a man who lives on Los Angeles Street in Somis reported that one of his horses was missing. At the time, he was unsure whether the horse had been stolen, or if it gotten loose, and may have been roaming the nearby hillsides.
Two weeks later, on Wednesday March 13, the man recognized his horse in a stable on the 1900 block of Lewis Road in nearby Camarillo. He also recognized several other “miniature” horses that belonged to another person, along with two saddles. According to a Ventura County Sheriff press release, deputies responded to the victim’s report, and after an investigation, arrested Oscar Pina, whose residence is listed as Oxnard, but may have been staying in Somis or Camarillo at the time. Somis and Camarillo are towns in the south east part of Ventura County, and are a mix of suburban and rural areas.
Miniature horses are generally about 3 feet tall at the “withers” or shoulder. They are usually friendly and interact well with people, and are often kept as pets, though they still behave more like a full size horse than a dog or other familiar pet. However, they are sometimes trained as service or assistance animals for people with disabilities. They also have long life spans, averaging about 30 years, which makes them valuable once trained, as they can serve for much longer than dogs. However, their instinct is to flee when threatened, as they are by nature a “prey” animal, unlike a dog.
The five horses found at the stable on Lewis Road are valued at over $10,000.00, and the two saddles at more than $1200.00. The horses have all been returned to their owners.
Oscar Pina was booked into Ventura County Main Jail on charges of Felony possession of stolen property pending further investigation of the circumstances of the crime. Anyone with more information is encouraged to call Ventura County Crime Stoppers for eligibility for up to $1,000 reward, at 800-222-TIPS (8477). Callers are able to remain anonymous, and the call is not recorded.
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