Kroger carjacker sent way up river


The county jail has been Brandon Ryan Moats' home since Sept. 16, when he was tackled and handcuffed following a foot chase between Swint Avenue and the Vinson Highway.

After having his day in court, however, Moats soon will be calling prison home, pleading guilty to armed robbery, robbery and obstruction of an officer and receiving 20 years behind bars and another 20 on probation.

Moats was arrested and charged with hijacking a motor vehicle on two different occasions in 2023. Last February, Moats and his mother were arrested in metro Miami after Moats reportedly crashed two different vehicles during a"wild series of events."

Seven months later, meanwhile, Moats approached a 52-year-old Milledgeville woman in the Kroger parking lot, according to law enforcement. The incident occurred right around 8:30 in the 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 broke free of the Good Samaritan and took off in the victim's vehicle, however. 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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