Austin veteran says GoFundMe donations stolen from bank account

A 92-year-old World War II veteran said someone stole thousands of dollars from a GoFundMe account set up to help him rebuild his home.

The theft was reported to the Austin Police Department Tuesday, but, so far, no one has been arrested for the crime. 

The kindness of the community surprised Louis Hicks when more than $10,000 in donations came rolling in to a GoFundMe account set up in his honor

“We were very excited and thankful for all the people that donated in such a short time,” said Monica Hughes, Hicks’ daughter.   

Austin police also donated a portable heater to Hicks after learning he was using the oven for warmth on cold nights, and several people helped clean up his East Austin home and yard, all of them hoping to give back to a man who sacrificed for his country and his neighbors. 

“I'm a person that helped do things in the neighborhood, helped the neighbors clean up, keep their yards clean for them, and that's my hobby, to do things like that to help others,” Hicks said. 

On Tuesday, Hicks visited the bank where he had deposited about $9,700 of the GoFundMe donations. That's where he said he learned there was a problem with the account. 

“Someone had been taking money out two or three times a day,” said Hicks. 

“I was told that there was $6,000 left in the account, and someone is taking the money out and it was not authorized to be taken out of the account," Hughes said. "My father had no knowledge of this. We just thought the money was there."

Hicks said he immediately opened a fraud investigation with the bank before also filing a police report.

“I hope they find out who has done these horrible things to me. I wouldn't do it to them,” said Hicks.  

Now he and his family just want to know why.

“I'm very upset about it. My daughters, my family's upset about it,” Hicks said.   

“What did we do to you? Why did you target us?” added Hughes.  

Austin police confirmed they have an open investigation into the case.