Horse mane mystery in Charlotte County

CREATED Dec. 13, 2013

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - One recent Southwest Florida crime is a cut above the rest. It's leaving law enforcement a bit puzzled.  

Last week a Charlotte County man called authorities looking for some help.  
His pasture near Indian Trail and North Jones Loop Road in Punta Gorda had just become a crime scene in a very strange way. 
"I've never actually seen something like this before," said Debbie Bowe with the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office. 
They are used to seeing the good, the bad and the weird. This case clearly falls into the latter category. 
"When this report came across your desk, what did you think?" reporter Kelli Stegeman asked. 
"I just thought it was strange! I don't know exactly how to describe it," replied Bowe. 
A horse at the pasture got a buzz cut, by thieves. 
"To find your horses with no mane when you didn't intend them to have no mane, it's probably very distressing and shocking," said Bowe. 
The sheriff's office says the horses owner reported the theft of hair happened at the beginning of December. 
"Is this a problem in Charlotte County?" asked Stegeman. 
"I've never heard of it before. I certainly hope it's not a problem," answered Bowe.  
Why horse hair?
According to the horse's owner, the hair can be sold for up to $300 a pound. It's used for anything from art brushes, to jewelry and musical instruments. 
"Someone that is going to do it here is going to do it somewhere else too," Bowe said.
At least one horse fell victim at the pasture and there could be more. 
The sheriff's office doesn't know if any witnesses even though the pasture is just feet from businesses. 
"Anyone who saw someone in the pasture cutting a mane, we'd like to hear about it," said Bowe. "We'd like to find out who stole a horses mane."
The owner declined to talk to us on camera, but another horse owner there says she's heard of thefts like this on the east coast of the state, but never in Charlotte County. 
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at (941) 639-2101.