A former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader, her boyfriend and her sister are accused of running a stolen vehicle chop shop operation that authorities believe covered much of the state and possibly even crossed over state lines.
According to several published reports, Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said the deeper authorities delve into the case the more evidence they uncover of the size and scope of the operation. Berry said he believes the operation was run by Kirk Devin Bray, 38, of Canton, in conjunction with his girlfriend, former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader Kori Lanard, of Watkinsville, and her sister Lauren Lanard, of Bishop.
The operation began to unravel for the trio when the former cheerleader was arrested in Lincoln County April 29 after they were found with stolen property. At that time, Bray and her sister managed to elude authorities, but members of the arrested Lauren Lanard the following day. She was in a 1994 Ford box-style truck, allegedly stolen from the LAD Trucking Company parking lot in Watkinsville. Lauren Lanard and a male passenger, believed to be Bray, again ran when the deputies tried to conduct a traffic stop.
“They ran up into the driveway of a residence off Highway 83 and the male passenger took off running,” said WCSO Chief Deputy Bruce Wright. “She jumped out the truck without turning it off and it rolled back into one of the deputy’s vehicles.”
Wright said Lauren Lanard was eventually caught and spent some time in the Walton County Jail before being transferred to the Oconee County Jail. The vehicle was recovered at that time. In Walton County, she was charged with fleeing, theft by receiving stolen property, interference with government property and obstruction. However, authorities say all three are likely to be facing multiple charges in several jurisdictions once the investigation is complete.
It was reported in the Oconee Patch blotter that Lauren Lanard was transferred to Oconee County Jail May 14 on charges of felony theft by taking and Bray was picked up by members of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office after he wrecked a stolen pickup truck May 5 on Highway 316 near the Oconee County Connector.
According to reports, Oconee County officials will be getting together in the coming weeks with authorities in several Georgia counties, including Walton, Cherokee, Lincoln, Greene, Madison, Gwinnett and DeKalb, which already have warrant out on Bray. Berry has said it is possible the investigation will reach across state lines as well. It is believed the operation was a well-organized theft ring of vehicles that included heavy equipment such as Bobcat trailers, tractor-trailers and other heavy equipment.
On her Facebook page, Kori Lanard lists herself as “in a relationship with Devin Bray” and lists her employers as “E.R. Snell Contractor with Devin Bray.”