An armed robber who specialized in stealing cars decided while jailed in Alabama to confess to robbing a Columbus couple of their car, their booze and the clothes the man was wearing after abducting the pair from a Buena Vista Road liquor store back in 2008.
While in prison for stealing cars in Alabama, 29-year-old Richard Randall chose to confess to Columbus police Sgt. Lance Deaton, volunteering that his DNA would be found on a cigarette butt he left in the backseat ashtray of the car he and his accomplice took, said his attorney, Robin King.
The stolen car was found at a so-called “chop shop” in Union City, Ga., where it was being dismantled for parts, King said. Authorities said Randall was right about the DNA match on the cigarette butt.
Jailed in Columbus since Feb. 4, Randall pleaded guilty today to two counts each of armed robbery and kidnapping, plus one count of hijacking a motor vehicle and one of using a firearm to commit a crime. He was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison and five on probation.
Randall’s accomplice has died since the Columbus robbery, King said.
It happened on March 22, 2008, when a man and woman leaving the Buena Vista Road Package Store at 4740 Buena Vista Road were confronted by two armed men who got in the back seat of the couple’s 1992 Ford Crown Victoria, ordering them to drive away and not turn around.
They were forced to drive a few blocks southwest, to 4066 Countryside Court, and get out of the car. The male victim was wearing brand-new clothes, and the robbers ordered him to disrobe, taking his new outfit, his car, and the alcohol the couple had just bought. The man was left wearing only underwear.
They also told the woman to take her clothes off, but backed off when she asked, “Do I have to?”
As part of the sentence, Judge William Rumer ordered Randall to pay the male victim $8,000 in restitution for the car. No compensation for the clothes was assessed.