WASECA, MN- The Waseca County Horse Thief Detectives (WCHTD) got its start in the mid–1800s, when locals felt that law enforcement needed help catching thieves taking community members' horses.

Although the crime isn't as common now, these noble individuals are proud to proclaim that not one steed has slipped from their grasp.

WCHTD president Scott Roemhildt says "20 to 30 years after the organization started, we kind of ran horse thieves out of the area. So, we largely became a social group, but every single year since 1864 we've held an annual meeting and picnic. I'm proud to report that never in a 154 years has a horse been unrecovered."

To modernize the purpose of its group, members are looking to assist the present Waseca County Sheriff with lost items, not limited to horses.

A lifetime membership costs $3 and a proposed $50 annual donation would help assist the Law Enforcement Memorial Association.

The WCHTD currently has more than 2,000 members in 15 states and 13 countries.

So, if your horse or other property ends up stolen, these men and women are here to help.

The 155th annual Waseca County Horse Thief Detectives picnic will be held in a new location next year, up the road at Northwest Park and will take place like it has been since 1864 at noon on July 4th.

The group has met every year since 1864, making it the longest running protective society west of the Mississippi.

To learn more about the organization, you can visit horsedetectives.org

- KEYC 12