A Turlock man said someone stole four tanks full of bull semen from his truck last Monday that’s worth tens of thousands of dollars.
It's not the tank's metal that's worth a lot of money, but it's what's inside, stored in liquid nitrogen. Bull sperm from the world's top cattle.
“Well, it’s kind of like being punched in the stomach. It did not feel real good at all,” Anthony Reis of Turlock said.
Reis sells the valuable product and said four tanks were stolen out of his truck. He had parked it on La Sombra Court in Turlock on Jan. 18. The theft happened sometime in the early morning hours, Reis said.
He said the thief not only took four tanks, they siphoned gas from him, too.
“I really don’t think they knew what they were taking,” he said. "They probably thought, 'well this… well these tanks are super heavy, probably worth a lot of money when it comes to the metal.'"
The sperm comes from no ordinary bulls. Reis said the genetic material comes from the most sought after animals.
“We had the fifth best bull in the world in that group. He’s an allocated bull, I cannot replace that semen," he said.
Some of Reis' supply comes from Oakdale farmer John Azevedo, who said the process of extracting sperm from these oftentimes aggressive animals can be challenging.
“It’s a loss to us, loss to the farmers. 'Cause some of these bulls are highly sought after,” Azevedo said.
Azevedo said dairy workers use the sperm to make better cows, milk and cheese.
“Reason that we select these genetics is for their ability to outperform in a number of ways,” Azevedo said.
Although the tanks are gone, Reis said the sperm could still be frozen. If that's the case, he's hoping the thieves responsible will at least give them back.
“If you don’t want to come by my house that’s fine. Drop it off in front of the police department, I don’t care,” Reis said.
Reis said because the vials were held in those tanks, there’s a chance that they might still be viable. If they’re found within the next week or two.
The Stanislaus County Farm Bureau said these kinds of crimes are rarely reported. If you have any information about this case, please contact the Turlock Police Department.