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Cows Help Cops Corral Suspected Car Thief In Florida
When Jennifer Anne Kaufman fled from an allegedly stolen car, she probably didn't count on a herd of cattle joining the pursuit.
A suspected car thief was arrested on Monday after a herd of cows helped police corral her, video shows.
Jennifer Anne Kaufman, 46, allegedly was riding in a stolen car with two others when Florida police spotted the vehicle and gave chase, according to the Tampa Bay Times. After the driver ditched the car and ran into the woods, Kaufman bailed out too, running into a nearby cow pasture, the newspaper reports.
As Kaufman ran through the field, she was spotted by a Seminole County Sheriff’s Department helicopter, circling overhead and using a special night vision camera that detects and images the body heat of living things. As police on the ground searched for her, the police spotter in the helicopter guided them to their target.
"South and east of you. Actually, a large group of cows is following her for a good visual. It looks like they may attack her," the spotter can be heard saying in the video of the Kaufman’s capture, released by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Department on Facebook.
"She’s pretty far into the field now. If you see the large group of cows, they’re literally following her and chasing her."
The herd chased Kaufman right to a fence, where police were waiting to arrest her.
“A herd of cattle provided law enforcement a big assist, repeatedly following and helping corral one who strayed on to their turf!,” the Seminole County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that accompanied the video.
A farmer named Richard Kondracki owned the cows, according to WKMG News 6, the local CBS affiliate. He told the television station that his cows have never been aggressive in the past.
“You don’t want to mess with it — any animal, whether it’s a cow, an elephant or a cat. You don’t mess with the babies,” Kondracki told the station.
Police said the car Kaufman and her companions were traveling in was stolen from a neighboring county. A search of the vehicle yielded more than a gram of cocaine, a crack pipe, syringes and a metal spoon, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The third occupant of the car, Erin Thomas, 38, stayed with the vehicle and was immediately arrested, while the man behind the wheel, Jamie Michael Young, was pursued by a police K-9 team and quickly found, police said.
Thomas told police she didn’t know anything about the car theft, and was just “trying to get high,” according to authorities.
All three have been charged with petit theft, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, trespassing and resisting arrest, while Kaufman faces an additional charged of violating probation, the Times says. They are being held in Seminole County Jail.
[Photo: Seminole County Sheriff's Department]