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Assailant hides in car of 89-year-old ex-North Little Rock official, robs him at gunpoint, police say

By Rachel Herzog

This article was originally published October 30, 2017 at 12:25 p.m. Updated October 31, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.


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An 89-year-old former North Little Rock council member was robbed at gunpoint Friday after an assailant got into his car and threw a jacket over his head, authorities said.

Olen Thomas reportedly told police that he had left work and gone back to his home on Haywood Road to change clothes about 11:15 a.m. Friday. While he was in the house, Thomas said, someone climbed into the back seat of his unlocked car, according to a police report.

Thomas told officers he was driving back to work when the robber threw an Arkansas Razorbacks jacket over his head and started reaching for his wallet. Thomas struggled with the assailant, who beat his head with a gun multiple times but caused no injuries, the report states.

Thomas said he threw his wallet under the seat while continuing to wrestle with his attacker, who then grabbed the wallet and exited the vehicle. The robber reportedly ran east on Haywood, leaving the jacket and an air-powered BB gun in the car.

The report lists a workplace phone number for Thomas that corresponds to Rose City Salvage and Discount Building Materials in North Little Rock, where he has worked for more than 40 years, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported.

When he retired from the City Council in 2008 after 28 years on the panel, Thomas was the longest-serving North Little Rock council member ever, according to the newspaper.

Police have named no suspects, and no arrests had been made at the time of the report.

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