Flagler County deputies arrest Georgia fugitive after hours-long manhunt

Jerrod Oats, 21, faces ten felony charges in Georgia

Jerrod Oats (left) and Jada Wells (right) (Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A Jacksonville man wanted in the state of Georgia was arrested Monday night after Flagler County deputies spent more than six hours searching for him, according to the sheriff’s office.

Flagler deputies said they’d found an unoccupied truck parked along John Campbell Road that had been reported stolen out of Georgia Monday afternoon.

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In a press release, the sheriff’s office said Jerrod Oats, 21, and Jada Wells, 21, were responsible for abandoning the stolen truck before fleeing into a wooded hunting camp to avoid law enforcement.

Deputies said that after putting out an emergency call system to warn nearby residents of the pair, they were soon alerted to a woman who had come onto someone’s back porch and started banging on the door.

The woman — later identified as Wells — called herself a runaway and was looking for a phone charger, deputies said. An arrest affidavit says the owner of the home had asked Wells to leave several times before deputies arrived.

“This is another great example of our emergency calling system and the ‘see something, say something’ working,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “A special thank you to the resident for calling us immediately.”

The release states that deputies then tracked down Oats to the hunting camp, where he was found inside a bunk house.

While Oats fled on foot, deputies said they were able to eventually catch and arrest him with the help of a new drone used by the sheriff’s office.

Oats was found with a flashlight and camouflage clothing, both of which he’d taken from the hunting camp, deputies said.

Wells faces charges of burglary of an occupied dwelling, grand theft auto and resisting law enforcement.

Deputies said that Oats faces charges of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, resisting law enforcement and grand theft auto, along with 10 counts of fugitive from justice — one for each active arrest warrant.

The charges for those warrants include: armed robbery, willful obstruction of law enforcement, kidnapping, giving a false name to law enforcement, sexual battery of a child under 16 years of age, aggravated assault, theft by deception, marijuana possession and violation of probation.

Deputies said Oats is being held without bond until he is extradited to Camden County, Georgia.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.