DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - For the first time, DeKalb County police are trying to arrest a local parent because they say her child was involved in violent crimes when he should have been getting ready for school.
Investigators told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr that this is part of a new effort to hold parent's responsible when their kids skip school.
"This kid is getting more and more violent," DeKalb County police Maj. K.D. Jackson said.
Jackson was referring to when DeKalb police arrested a 13-year-old for stealing a Honda Pilot from a gas station on Jan. 5.
They realized he was the same boy they were looking for late last year for joining others in a pawn shop break-in and stealing $9,000 worth of guns.
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They say he's also the same child charged with arson last summer and kidnapping in November when a woman told police she jumped on her car and landed in the hospital, trying to save her infant brother.
The teen suspect and an accomplice are accused of carjacking, taking off with the baby and dumping him at a gas station.
“He just drops the baby off on the sidewalk and speeds off and we never see him again,” store clerk Alex Robles told Channel 2 Action News at the time.
“And mom, we're actively looking for her,” Jackson said.
Now, for the first time, police are going after a local parent for contributing to her child's lack of structure, charging her with educational neglect.
Investigators said her son has missed more than 30 days of school between August and December -- the same time frame all the crimes were committed.
“She could not provide a valid reason as to why this kid was not going to school other than pointing the finger at other people,” Jackson told Carr.
Carr wasn’t able to find the child's mother either. Police have an open invitation to her and other parents this Saturday.
“To help you become a citizen that's going to act right, we're going to help you. But if you want to continue to allow yourself, or your kid, we're going to deal with you that way too,” Jackson said.
Police are looking to connect with parents of males between the third and 12th grade, offering free services and even a bit of financial assistance to deal with issues at home.
They are hosting an event to talk parent-to-parent at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center off of Rainbow Drive in Decatur.
The event runs from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday.
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