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— Robber with rake knocks man out, steals jewelry

LITTLE ROCK - A 44-year-old Little Rock man was injured early Wednesday when a robber knocked him unconscious with a rake, according to a police report.

The victim told authorities he had been walking behind Bopp Liquor Store at 1021 E. 9th St. around 2 a.m. when two people, one of whom was holding a rake, came up to him and asked for his money.

The Little Rock man tried to defend himself, but the robber with the rake knocked him out, according to the report from the city’s Police Department. When he awoke, a gold chain that had been around his neck, valued at $2,500, was gone, authorities said.

The man went home and then to UAMS Medical Center, the report states. Police noted that he was covered in blood and had a cut above his left eye but said his wound was not life-threatening.

The 44-year-old told officers he was high on hallucinogenic drugs at the time of the robbery.

No suspects were named, and no arrests had been made at the time of the report.

Man jailed after find of marijuana plants, guns

GAMALIEL - A 58-year-old Arkansas man was arrested Tuesday afternoon after more than 30 marijuana plants and more than 20 guns were found on his property, authorities said,

Tom Brian Sedlacek of Gamaliel faces multiple drug and weapons charges after spotters in a helicopter saw marijuana plants on his northern Arkansas property, a Baxter County sheriff’s office news release states.

When searching the grounds for Sedlacek, officers found signs warning that trespassers would be shot, a shooting range and an outbuilding containing more marijuana plants, authorities said.

Authorities found 30 to 40 marijuana plants, 24 guns — including a “sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun with a homemade pistol grip attached” — as well as plastic baggies of processed marijuana, 562 methadone pills and 16 acetaminophen and oxycodone pills, the release states.

The 58-year-old told authorities that he had been growing marijuana since 1992, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Army National Guard, Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, 14th Judicial Drug Task Force, Arkansas State Police, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Baxter County sheriff’s office worked together on the operation, the release states.

Sedlacek was taken to the Baxter County jail and held on charges that include manufacture of a controlled substance, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, criminal use of a prohibited weapon, and terroristic threatening, the release states.

He was released after paying his $50,000 bail and will appear in court Sept. 20, authorities said.

Stranger with stun gun carjacks Little Rock teen

LITTLE ROCK - An 18-year-old Little Rock man was robbed of his car by people he gave a ride to Wednesday night, authorities said.

According to a report from the city’s Police Department, the victim said he was driving through the Royal Oaks Apartments at 8621 Baseline Road about 11 p.m. when a female approached his vehicle and asked for a ride.

He told police that she soon let in a male. Authorities said the victim believed the pair were offering marijuana in exchange for a ride, but he soon became “scared and confused.”

When they arrived at an area near College Station, the male assailant took out a stun gun and ordered the teen to get out of the vehicle and take everything out of his pockets, the report states. The pair then drove away in the car.

No suspects were named, and no arrests had been made at the time of the report.

Lawmakers set hearing after 5 Ark. inmates die

ARKANSAS - A legislative panel overseeing prisons and correctional programs has scheduled a meeting for next Tuesday to follow up on reports that five prisoners died this week at the Varner Unit.

State Sen. Joyce Elliott, chairwoman of the legislative Subcommittee on Charitable, Penal and Correctional Institutions, announced Thursday that she had called the meeting, to be held along with the Judiciary Committees of both chambers.

The Arkansas State Police are investigating the recent deaths, though an official with the Department of Correction said earlier this week that they may have been caused by illicit drugs.

“The public is hearing about this constant drumbeat of unfortunate events at our state prison system,” Elliott said. “We must get answers.”

Elliott, D-Little Rock, has called several meetings of the subcommittee in the past year to address other issues at the prisons, including violent disturbances, food and water quality and complaints about poor access to health care.

In response to several of last year’s reports of violence — which left two prisoners dead — Elliott has called for an external audit of the state’s prison system. No audit has been scheduled.

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