Washington Woman Arrested in Horse Theft

A Washington state woman is free on her own recognizance after being arrested for stealing a horse in her care.

Thurston County, Wash., Sheriff's Department Sgt. Kenneth Clark said that earlier this year a 5-year-old Quarter Horse mare was being boarded at a farm near Yelm when the operator of the boarding facility told the animal's owner that a Sheriff's deputy had seized the horse on grounds that the animal was maltreated.

“She said someone pulled up in a black SUV just like ours, showed some papers and a badge, and took the horse,” Clark said. “That got our attention.”

But the deputy impersonator never existed, Clark said. A subsequent investigation revealed that the boarding facility operator conjured the impersonator and conspired to steal the horse.

“She claimed she took the horse because it was (allegedly) malnourished but that didn't appear to be the case,” Clark said.

Clark said he did not know the details of the boarding agreement between the horse's owner and the boarding facility operator.

On April 10 the horse was recovered and subsequently returned to her owner. Clark said that on the same day, the boarding barn operator Caitlyn Kennedy was arrested and subsequently charged with alleged theft of livestock and criminal conspiracy. Kennedy pleaded not guilty to the charges. The arrest of a second suspect is pending, Clark said.

Kennedy was unavailable for comment.

A representative for the Thurston County Jail said that on April 11, Kennedy was released on her own recognizance.

The court case is pending, Clark said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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