TURLOCK (CBS13) — Tanks filled with thousands of dollars worth of bull semen were stolen out of a truck in Turlock, and it could cause trouble in the wrong hands.
The bulls are the cream of the crop and have been selected for their genetic value.
"The genetics that these Bulls have in them is out of the top 1 percent of the world population," said farm owner John Azevedo.
The bulls' highly valued semen is collected two to three times a week and shipped to farms in California and across the world for the purpose of impregnating cattle.
"Over 70 to 75 percent of all cattle in the U.S. is inseminated artificially," he said.
Turlock resident Anthony Reis spent months of his time and labor collecting top of the line bull semen for distribution only to half it stolen.
"You get to your first dairy and you're missing half your inventory," he said.
Three tanks and a transfer tank with nearly 3,500 units of sperm were stolen from the back of his work truck late Sunday night, enough to potentially impregnate more than 1,000 cattle.
"You're trying to make a living -- the loss of all those units of semen, and probably taken by someone who had no idea what they were stealing, is very frustrating," he said.
The semen was worth nearly $50,000, with one of the bulls being the fifth best in the world now.
"To have a bull that's that high in the list and to have that seen stolen from an allocated bull that's hard to replace," he said.
The tanks that store the semen are filled with liquid nitrogen. At about -320 degrees fahrenheit to keep the sperm frozen, they need to be handled by professionals. Otherwise, it can be dangerous.
Reis also says the thieves stole gas out of his truck and most likely have no clue what else they took.
"To have someone just come and take your livelihood is very frustrating," he said.
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