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Austin man arrested on theft charges

Police have arrested a man on 23 felony theft charges, along with three misdemeanor theft charges.
AUSTIN, AR – Police have arrested a man on 23 felony theft charges, along with three misdemeanor theft charges.

According to reports, the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office first received a report about a theft by deception in July. The report said that a man, later identified as 53-year-old Howard “Gene” Hickman of Austin, operated a business named “Gene Hickman Custom Homes” in Cabot. The business displayed small wooden buildings that Hickman offered to build on the customer’s property, but after receiving payments, the structures were never built.

Police identified 26 victims of the scam, with losses ranging from $700 - $40,000. On December 21, Hickman was arrested at his home for 23 felony counts of theft of property along with three misdemeanor counts. Hickman is currently being held at the Lonoke County Detention Facility on no bond.
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