Ex Falcons cheerleader, others linked to statewide car theft ring

Friday, May 27, 2011 6:12 AM
Last updated 9:00 AM
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ATHENS, Ga. -- A former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader arrested in Lincoln County last month is being linked to a wider investigation of a statewide stolen car ring and "chop shop."

Kori Lanard was arrested April 29 in Lincoln County, where stolen car suspect Kirk Bray and Lanard's sister eluded deputies by fleeing into some woods after they were found with stolen vehicles.

Lanard, who lives in Oconee County outside Athens, is a former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader who once lived with Bray.

She and her sister, Lauren Lanard, are suspected accomplices in Bray's chop shop operation, police said.

Charges continue to mount against an accused chop shop operator as authorities link him to trucks, trailers and heavy equipment that were stolen from metro Atlanta to the South Carolina border, the Athens Banner Herald reports.

Deputies arrested the 38-year-old  Bray on May 5 after he crashed a stolen truck into a car driven by a deputy's grandparents on the Oconee Connector.

At the time, Bray already was suspected of stealing a truck from an Athens dealership.

Authorities later uncovered a chop shop they say he ran in Cherokee County north of Atlanta .

"There are so many agencies with so many different pieces of the picture," Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said earlier this week.

"This is a case that's turning into epic proportions," Berry said. "Every rock you kick over, you find new evidence."

At last count, investigators from nearly a dozen agencies had taken out warrants on Bray on charges he stole trucks and other vehicles in Barrow, Madison, Oconee and seven other counties.

"People all across the state of Georgia and Tennessee are working on this guy," Berry said.

Investigators plan to gather soon to share information as they try to connect Bray and others to the chop shop operation, according to Cherokee County sheriff's Lt. Jay Baker.

"A meeting is likely to take place in the next couple of weeks where every jurisdiction involved can sit down in the same room and review Bray's activities prior to his arrest," Baker said.

Authorities wouldn't say if they've connected Bray to chop shops other than the one in Cherokee County, though Berry said authorities found stolen trucks and vehicle parts when they searched a site in Franklin County.

In Cherokee County, authorities found a trove of stolen goods.

"The items located at Bray's home ranged from car parts, a stolen tractor-trailer, a Ford F-350 pickup, two International dump trucks and a Starcraft RV," Baker said.

Investigators identified a business in Walton County where they say Bray sold parts from stolen trucks.

Bray mostly targeted Ford trucks, particularly the F-250 and F-350 models, authorities say.

"He loved Fords - the bigger, the better," Berry said.

But Bray also stole trailers and their contents, like construction equipment, police said.

"There's an instance where he stole a Bobcat in Douglas County and sold it in Walton County," Berry said.

Athens-Clarke police Detective Lamar Glenn hopes to interview Bray about a truck that was stolen from an Atlanta Highway dealership only days before Bray was arrested in Oconee County.

A deputy in Oglethorpe County stopped the stolen Ford F-350, but Bray and Kori Lanard, 30, ran from the truck and escaped.

Authorities don't know how large the case against Bray and his accomplices may grow, but they're working on numerous apparently related cases while Bray remains locked up without bail in the Oconee County Jail.

"No one is in a hurry to charge him and get a bunch of warrants, because he's not going anywhere," Berry said.

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wlightnin42
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wlightnin42 05/27/11 - 07:07 am
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Ford, Good Taste.

Ford, Good Taste.

naughtybaby
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naughtybaby 05/27/11 - 07:31 am
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That probably explains what

That probably explains what happened to my Ford Taurus that broke down on the interstate inside McDuffie county and was gone when I went back to retrieve it a day later.

nevertoolate
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nevertoolate 05/27/11 - 09:01 am
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Nothing more despicable than

Nothing more despicable than a thief.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 05/27/11 - 09:16 am
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The guy was stealing cars

The guy was stealing cars with an ex Falcons cheerleader and her sister. He was living the American dream. It seems like more that a few thieves have been living in the Oconne County area.

chrism0596
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chrism0596 05/27/11 - 01:04 pm
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yeah but she's smoking hot!

yeah but she's smoking hot! Pretty girl.

sirbopar613
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sirbopar613 05/27/11 - 07:58 pm
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where was the pic????

where was the pic????

reba530
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reba530 05/28/11 - 01:07 am
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She may have been smokin hot
Unpublished

She may have been smokin hot but she was stupid for doing what she did. I hope they all pay dearly for what they did. It seems as if they have to much time on their hands. Get a job. A real job

christa
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christa 05/30/11 - 01:25 am
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Hearing this about her when

Hearing this about her when she got arrested made me stop and think of the "old Kori" that I knew, a good mom, a good friend, and before she got hooked up with this guy and then with meth she was someone who didn't even drink! I tried several times to get her to come downtown with me and she did once and ended up leaving early so that she could just go home and be with her son. Her sister, Lauren I had also known for years and was arrested with Bray took the same path along with Kori, now meth has stolen yet more young lives and kids from their mothers.

keebler0206
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keebler0206 07/11/11 - 10:58 am
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@chrism0596- she isn't smokin

@chrism0596- she isn't smokin hot anymore! Have you seen her mug shot on the news It's like the faces of METH. She was cute, but not anymore and @christa- Do you know Bray personally?? I've known him for years & he didn't mess her life up, she did w/ drugs. He actually is a nice, respectful guy, that seems to get mixed up w/ the dumbest people. He never got into any trouble until his mid 30's really & the big trouble comes when he hangs around idiots. He once was very successful. So, before you go & blame him for her & her sister, remember, they are grown and nobody can make you do anything you don't want to do! All 3 of them messed up BIG TIME!!

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