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Deputies Retrieve Horses After Brazen Theft In Santa Cruz County

SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) -- Deputies found two stolen horses in Freedom, an area in unincorporated Santa Cruz County, within several hours of the theft and returned them to their owner, sheriff's officials said.

The owner of the horses was awakened Saturday night by the sound of people on her property, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.

stolen horses, santa cruz county sheriff's office
(Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office)

The owner found a white Jeep on her property and told the driver to leave. Only after the Jeep departed did she realize her horses were missing, sheriff's officials said.

Using clues from the horse owner and other leads, deputies found the horses hidden in a makeshift corral behind a home in Freedom and the horses were safely returned home, according to sheriff's officials.

The alleged driver of the Jeep, Juanita Stanley , and her alleged passenger, Michaela Helmer, were arrested on suspicion of theft of the horses, sheriff's officials said.

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