On June 18, 2014, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office received a Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers tip reporting that 34-year-old Robert Allen Lanier was reportedly planning to steal a large number of cattle from Hilliard Brothers of Florida Ranch, in Clewiston, Florida.
The reporter stated the theft was allegedly to take place between the dates of June 15 and June 21, 2014, while Hilliards was attending the Florida Cattlemen’s Convention.
Law Enforcement officials immediately notified the Hilliard’s cattle foremen. It was later learned that one of the gates on the Hilliard property had been torn down.
Deputies, along with employees of Hilliard Ranch, responded to the scene. Deputies were able to determine that the cattle were placed into an existing set of cow pens then loaded onto a trailer. It was estimated at the time that approximately 18 calves had been stolen. Contact was made with Arcadia Livestock Market, where the calves were located, identified and returned to the Hilliard Ranch.
During the investigation, it was determined that Lanier had reportedly stolen the calves from Hilliard’s during the early morning hours and transported them to another ranch in Desoto County.
While Lanier was on his way to pick up the cattle, he was arrested by the Glades County Sheriff’s Office on an outstanding Okeechobee County warrant for child support.
After being released from Glades County, he was later arrested by Okeechobee County deputies on a Hendry County warrant on charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property. He was later released on a $30,000 bond.