Investigators say teens robbed to gain status in gang

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, October 19, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Two teenagers are in jail and investigators are searching for a third suspect in the robbery of a family dollar store. Richmond County Investigators say this splinter gang has between five and eight members.

It all started Tuesday, when the Family Dollar on Tobacco Road was robbed. 19-year-old Emanuel Castleberry and 15-year-old Robert McCoy are charged with armed robbery. McCoy is being charged as an adult. Sgt. Richard Roundtree said they are members of a violent group.

"You have two subjects armed, going into a store moving the store clerk from one part to another and forcing them at gun point to open the safe with a gun pointed to the back of the head is an extremely violent gang," Sgt. Richard Roundtree said.

Investigators said they're part of a local splinter gang called "Hoover Crips 74GD" and they did the crime to impress some other gang members. Deputies still need your help tracking down a third suspect, 17-year-old Jonathan Felton. They're also trying to identify other members of this gang.

"We have the reason to believe that this group is responsible for more than just this one particular robbery, that's why its important to identify all the members and see exactly what crimes they've committed within the CSRA," Sgt. Roundtree said.

Investigators are tracking 35-40 active gangs in Richmond County.

"Right now, we are focusing on either four or five gangs that we consider to be extremely violent or the ones who are engaging in continuing criminal enterprise," Roundtree said.

Investigators said the Family Dollar robbery represents typical gang activity for initiation, or status in a gang.

"We've identified that this gang is engaging in criminal enterprise within our city and were going to completely eradicate this set and move on to the next one," Sgt. Roundtree said.

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