Cobb County

Cobb County police want to make serious changes as youth crime keeps rising

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Cobb County police are talking one-on-one with Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Michele Newell about the increase in crimes at the hands of young people.

They say some of the violence is tied to gangs.

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Police can’t discuss the most recent violence involving teens that happened at Six Flags and near the park. But they did talk to them about the violence they are noticing in general.

Cobb public information officer, Sgt. Eric Smith told Newell some teens are committing crimes to show off and some of it is gang-related, a problem seen across metro Atlanta.

“They were after two 15-year-old boys, accused of a carjacking in DeKalb County,” Sgt. Smith said referencing a February carjacking.

FLOCK cameras spotted the stolen car in Cobb County.

“Unfortunately yes. Crime involving younger offenders is occurring,” Smith said.

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Earlier this year, Marietta police worked with Cobb police and other agencies to crack a crime ring that involved car break-ins, armed robbery and a shooting. Some suspects are under 18.

In February, shots were fired in a high school parking lot. Later that month, a drive-by shooting sent one bullet through a teen’s bedroom.

The same day, police found teenagers in a car with a stolen gun, a shell casing and drugs.

“We are seeing that juveniles are basically involved in more crimes that involve firearms,” Smith said.


“A lot of juvenile offenders that are involved in gangs the reality of that is they get less time or sometimes no time so because of that they are right back out there,” Smith explained.

He says the Cobb County Police Department offers several programs to help the youth.

“The police athletic league to get them involved in sports so they are not involved in crime,” Smith said. But prevention ultimately begins at home.

“For some kids especially if there’s not strong parental involvement they continue to get worse and worse and worse,” Smith said.

Cobb Police Chief Stuart VanHoozer was at a town hall for youth last week and he is planning a public safety forum later this month.

For more information on Youth Athletics and other programs, click here.


Michele Newell

Michele Newell, WSB-TV

Michele Newell has been part of the WSB-TV family since November 2021. Before moving to Atlanta, Michele worked at TV news stations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio and Steubenville, Ohio.

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