Kroger carjacking suspect quickly captured by BCSO deputies


Brandon Ryan Moats is pictured above in a mug shot from February of this year down in south Florida.

A familiar face around the county jail again was arrested on Saturday morning following a strong-arm carjacking at Kroger.

Brandon Ryan Moats, 25, was arrested on the southside following a brief foot chase along McKinley Street and Scott Hill Street, located between Swint Avenue and the Vinson Highway and not far from the Milledgeville Manor.

This marks the second time this calendar year that Moats has been arrested and accused of carjacking. Back in February, Moats and his mother –  Maria Herrera Tapia, also a familiar face around the county jail – were arrested in metro Miami after Moats reportedly crashed two different vehicles during a "wild series of events."

This time around, meanwhile, Moats approached a 52-year-old woman as she was leaving Kroger with a few items and walking through the parking lot, according to law enforcement. The incident occurred right around 8:30 this morning. Moats eventually struck up a conversation with the woman and relayed to her that he "had a gun." A struggle then ensued, with Moats eventually gaining the upper hand, pushing the victim to the ground and taking her keys.

A "Good Samaritan then attempted to intervene" and became involved in a scuffle with Moats, according to law enforcement. Moats eventually was able to break free of the Good Samaritan and take off in the victim's vehicle. He then made a left onto Log Cabin Road and a right onto North Jefferson before eventually reaching the Vinson Highway. In the meantime, a BOLO was put out of the stolen vehicle, and law enforcement began searching for hits within its system of Flock security cameras.


Grand theft auto way harder than it used to be

No more "Flock hits" were documented following the hit on the Vinson Highway, which allowed the Sheriff's Office to narrow down its search area. Law enforcement then converged en masse and began driving around the general area. Lt. Brandon Towe quickly spotted both a vehicle matching the description and a suspect matching the description in a driveway. A short foot chase ensued, and Moats was apprehended. No gun was recovered, and the victim relayed to deputies that Moats never actually brandished a gun.

The Flock cameras "were extremely, extremely instrumental in helping us solve this case so quickly," said Towe.

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