Police have linked a 51-year-old Columbus man to last month's theft of a gun from Frank Lumpkin III's truck as well as more than 60 automobile break-ins.
Archie Washington was arrested Saturday about midnight after a 39-year-old Columbus man caught him stealing property from his vehicle, police said. A fight broke out between Washington and the victim, and police were called to the scene in the 1900 block of 13th Street. Washington was charged with three counts of entering an automobile, loitering and prowling, simple battery, possession of drug-related objects and possession of tools for the commission of a crime.
Columbus Police Lt. Gil Slouchick said an investigation linked Washington to 62 automobile thefts occurring in October in the following areas: Gentian Boulevard, Reese Road, Tomahawk Drive, Lookout Drive, Cathryn Drive, Iris Drive, Dell Drive and Averett Drive.
Washington's case has been bound over to Superior Court. He is in the Muscogee County Jail.
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Lumpkin, 50, a member of one of Columbus' most prominent families, was one of Washington's victims, Slouchick said. Police believe Washington broke into Lumpkin's 2008 Nissan Titan parked in his garage at his Cathryn Street home and stole a Smith & Wesson gun. The theft was just hours after Lumpkin's wife's vehicle, a Lincoln Navigator, was stolen from outside the Circle K gas station at 3720 Macon Road on Oct. 19. Fearing the two crimes were connected, Lumpkin went in search of the stolen Navigator.
He found the car on Oct. 21 at a gas station at 1538 Fort Benning Road. Lumpkin now faces an aggravated assault charge after shooting a 16-year-old teen boy he discovered sitting in the stolen SUV. Attorneys for both sides have conflicting stories as to about what happened that night.
The injured boy's attorney, Derrell Dowdell, claims his client was not armed and was begging for his life when Lumpkin shot him. Lumpkin's attorney, Frank Martin, says the teen did have a gun and was pointing it at his client when Lumpkin shot him.