3 more ‘bovine bandits’ arrested for Polk County cow theft

Photos courtesy Polk County Sheriff's Office.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Three more men are facing charges in Polk County in connection with stealing eight cows from a pasture in Lakeland, then selling them at an auction.

Saturday morning, deputies announced the arrests of 18-year-old Bryce Pickle, 18-year-old Leroy Hamilton and 20-year-old Dakota McClellan.

The announcement comes one day after three other men were arrested in the case.

Deputies say 22-year-old Dalton Pelham, who was arrested Friday, paid Pickle $50 back in April to steal a calf from the pasture near the intersection of West Bella Vista Street and Walker Road.

Pickle went back to the pasture last week with Hamilton and McClellan to steal two more calves. Investigators say they duct-taped the baby cows’ legs together then put them in a pen with no food or water.

When someone else convinced them it wasn’t a good idea and said police were on the way, the three men unwrapped the duct tape and left. The baby cows are going to be okay.

Pickle has been charged with two counts of grand theft of livestock, dealing in stolen property and confining an animal without sufficient food and water. Hamilton and McClellan are charged with grand theft and confining an animal without sufficient food and water.

According to a Facebook post from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation is still ongoing and they won’t stop until everyone involved goes to jail.

Deputies are still searching for the other cows, but do know where they were sold.



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