“I know him personally” Cobb business built off second chances, has equipment stolen a second time

This browser does not support the video element.

COBB COUNTY, Ga — Chris Gregory knew something was wrong when he saw an open gate at his business.

The owner of CMG Landscaping does not leave the gate to his facility open, especially after they stole thousands of dollars worth of lawncare equipment from him in November.

“That’s when we noticed the red truck was gone, and the white truck was gone,” Gregory said.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Chris had a challenging end to 2021. In November, Channel 2 covered a group of criminals stealing more than $10,000 worth of lawn care equipment.

“I definitely didn’t think it was going to happen again. I just thought it was a fluke,” Gregory said. “People who don’t want to get stuff the right way. They want to take stuff. I know how that goes.”

Life has not been easy for Chris Gregory. He says he joined a gang at 12 and went to juvenile by the time he was 14.

“I’ve been in jail three times, overdosed twice. I got shot three times and stabbed five times in my sleep,” Gregory said.

Gregory said he was caught in a vicious cycle of gangs, drugs, and crime while growing up in north St. Louis.

“90% of the guys I grew up with are dead or locked up,” Gregory said.

After surviving a shooting at a wake, Gregory says he moved to Atlanta and turned his life around. Seven years ago, he opened up his own landscaping company. A few years later, he started using his business to provide second chances to those like Nagell Clemmons.

“Change is not easy, it’s hard. When you get used to living, doing a certain thing for so long,” Clemmons said. “I was sitting in my jail. I said it’s time for me to go. And I gave Chris a call and told him I was ready. He sent for me, and I’ve been here ever since.”

However, the theft of CMG trucks feels personal to Chris Gregory. He says he has to lay off some workers seasonally every year as business slows down during the winter. This December, he had to lay off a few more workers because of the first theft. Gus McKinney was one of those layoffs.

A few days later, Gregory says security footage shows McKinney breaking into his office and cutting the power.

“Yeah, the picture showed it as clear as day,” he said. “It’s very disappointing and discouraging. It makes you want to throw up your hands and quit.”

Gregory says he will try to work to get his business up and running. Before the recent thefts, he had five teams that could work around the city. Now Gregory says he only has enough equipment to operate one team at a time.


He says the recent thefts will not change his business plan.

“I won’t allow the actions of one man to dictate my actions,” Gregory said.

However, Gregory will now try to replace the stolen equipment. If you would like to help, they have started a gofundme you can contribute to here.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]


This browser does not support the video element.