Law enforcement authorities say popular low-carbohydrate, high protein diets like Atkins and the Zone have fueled an upsurge in cattle stealing in California.
Soaring beef prices have led to a new generation of cattle rustlers who steal and sell cattle for large profits.
Detectives say the thieves drive up to ranches late at night, tackle and rope calves, and drive them away.
Investigators are trying to track down the thieves using modern crime fighting tools like stakeouts, video surveillance, informants and D-N-A testing.
The National Cattlemen´s Beef Association reports that consumer demand for beef has increased by 15 percent over the past five years, even after mad cow disease was discovered in Washington state in December.