The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 12, 2013

DNA instrumental in nabbing cattle thief suspect

By Jeff Lehr
jlehr@joplinglobe.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — DNA on a discarded paper towel led to the arrest of a Monett man this week on charges related to the thefts of cattle and farm equipment in Greene County.

Howard L. Perryman, 67, appeared this morning in Greene County Circuit Court where he has been charged with two counts of theft and a single count of tampering with a motor vehicle following a lengthy investigation by a rural crimes unit of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control.

The state patrol said in a news release that stolen property valued at more than $100,000 has been recovered. The items were taken from residents of Jasper, Lawrence, Christian and Dade counties as well as Greene County, the patrol said.

Perryman is being held in the Greene County Jail on a $1 million bond.

A probable-cause affidavit states that DNA obtained from a used paper towel left on the ground near tire tracks believed to have been associated with the theft in May of last year of 13 head of cattle from a rural property near Walnut Grove matched a DNA profile of the defendant. DNA also allegedly connects him to a vehicle stolen from Jasper County that was recovered from a field in Greene County where a suspect had been interrupted in the act of trying to steal livestock.  

Tire tracks allegedly tie him to the theft of seven head of cattle from a rural Springfield property in June.

The ex-convict, who served time in the Missouri state prison system and federal prison, has numerous prior arrests for stealing cattle, robbery and other offenses and about 20 felony convictions.