Missing Virginia goats found at halal market, returned to owners

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STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — Most of the goats stolen from two Virginia farms were recovered and returned to their owners, a Stafford County Sheriff’s Office spokesman announced. An alert went out earlier this week after eight goats disappeared from two Stafford farms.

The goats were recovered after a tip led investigators to Safa Halal Meat Market in Fredericksburg.

“Detectives received a tip that [Steven] Calleja had sold eight goats to the Safa Halal Meat Market,” Sgt. Eric Quinn said. “Stafford Detectives later learned that Calleja had attempted to sell eight goats but the Safa Halal Meat Market only purchased six of the goats.”

Those six goats were returned to their owners. The other two missing goats remain unaccounted for at this time.

Investigators were able to track down and arrest the man they said sold the goats to the market.

Steven Calleja Jr. (PHOTO: Stafford County Sheriff’s Office)

Steven Calleja Jr. (PHOTO: Stafford County Sheriff’s Office)

Steven Calleja Jr., 33, of Fauquier County, was charged with two counts of Felony Larceny of an Animal. He has since bonded out of jail.

“Two families have been reunited with their beloved pets,” Stafford Sheriff David Decatur said. “We are hoping that someone out there knows the whereabouts of the other two goats so that they can also be reunited with their owners.”

Anyone with additional information can call the Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400 or submit a news tip here.