Cheerleader is charged with robbing children

$147 taken at pool party in Marietta.$5,000 bond set Wednesday for Sprayberry student.

A Sprayberry High School cheerleader is in jail after police say she robbed children at a pool party in Marietta.

Chelsea Steele, 17, was arrested after she stole a box containing $147 from a group of children, including a wheelchair-confined child, at a neighborhood pool on Sandy Plains Road, according to the arrest warrant. The children were selling T-shirts and hats to benefit a father's struggling embroidery business when the incident took place last Friday.

After taking the cash, Steele fled the St. Charles Square subdivision in a Ford Taurus with three other girls, said county police spokesman Joe Hernandez. She was arrested that night and has been in the Cobb County Jail since July 4 on felony charges of robbery and a misdemeanor charge of underage possession of alcohol. A $5,000 bond was set Wednesday, though it's unclear whether Steele has posted bond. Calls to her attorney were not quickly returned.

The names of the other girls have not been released because of their age. Charges against them are pending, Hernandez said.

Joe Green said his two daughters, ages 9 and 11, organized the sale of Fourth of July gear to earn summer money and help his company, JAG Designs.

Green's family was grilling out with friends Friday when the unknown teens came to the pool. As he returned from his house on an errand, he saw a white car with two teen girls parked outside the pool area, and another teen holding open the gate, which locks when closed. He then saw a girl later identified as Steele talking to his children at their table, he said.

He chatted with the teen and explained why his girls were selling the merchandise, he recalled. But a few minutes after he left their side, he heard shouts that their money had been snatched.

Two children helped identify Steele, who is listed as a varsity sport cheerleader on Sprayberry's Web site.

Green said the worst part of the ordeal isn't the money lost. "We knew we'd never get the money back. The money isn't the issue, it's what they did to our girls."