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Suspect in Tampa armed robbery traced to Georgia, arrested

TAMPA — After months of investigating, police say they tracked down an armed robbery suspect in Georgia and caught him with a stolen gun.

The robbery happened about 3:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at 9505 N Florida Ave. Police say three men armed with handguns confronted several people and took money and a cell phone.

As the robbers ran away, they dropped another cell phone, a handgun and a hat. Police said the number for the dropped phone indicated it was from Georgia.

Police got a tip that led them to the stolen phone, found near Fletcher Avenue and Interstate 275, next to the Days Inn Hotel. The hotel's registration log showed that someone from Georgia rented a room there the previous day.

Detectives searched the property and found gun-packaging material that matched the dropped handgun. Police said a forensic investigator examined the material and traced it to Kenneth Washington, 27, a felon from Columbus, Ga.

Police issued a warrant for Washington's arrest. Two Tampa detectives went to Georgia and tracked down Washington on April 12.

Columbus police conducted a traffic stop after spotting Washington's Ford Excursion and searched his car. They found a stolen handgun under Washington's driving seat and took him into custody, authorities said.

Police said Washington denied committing the Tampa robbery and handling the gun or packaging material. He was charged with the robbery anyway, in addition to being a felon in possession of a firearm and theft by receiving stolen property in Georgia.

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Suspect in Tampa armed robbery traced to Georgia, arrested 04/28/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 3:53pm]
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