WELLINGTON, Fla. — The cows have come home.
Six stolen cows, valued at $17,700, were returned to their Wellington owners after Palm Beach County sheriff's detectives tracked down two men who are accused of stealing them in October.
Michael Englert and Eric M. Popper, both 20, were booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Wednesday, charged with grand theft of livestock and trespassing. Popper, of Wellington, also faces criminal mischief charges. A third man, who has not been identified, is being sought.
Detectives learned from witnesses that shortly before 8 a.m. on Oct. 2, two men were seen trying to lure the cows with hay on 50th Street South.
Englert, of suburban Lake Worth, told detectives on Nov. 23 that he had been asked on Oct. 1 to help move some cows in Wellington for $600. The effort was thwarted when the cows refused to cooperate, he said.
He and the unidentified man returned the next day, took the cows and drove them to Loxahatchee. Englert said he was never paid for the job.
Popper told detectives on Nov. 28 that the unidentified man had asked him for help repossessing cows on Oct. 1. Popper said that he and the man used bolt cutters to cut the locks of the property where the cows were being kept, according to the report. Their intent, he said, was to use the livestock trailer attached to Englert's truck to transport the cows. Popper said he did not return to collect the cows on Oct. 2, after the failed initial attempt.
Englert and Popper are being held at the jail in lieu of $3,000 bail.
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