GBI: 5 charged in Cobb store burglary tied to ‘smash and grab’ gang

From left to right are Vernard O'Neal, Michael Morgan and Antwon Palmer. They are charged in connection with an October 2018 burglary of a Texaco gas station in Cobb County. Not pictured are Jamarcus Purnell and Montarius Daniels.
Caption
From left to right are Vernard O'Neal, Michael Morgan and Antwon Palmer. They are charged in connection with an October 2018 burglary of a Texaco gas station in Cobb County. Not pictured are Jamarcus Purnell and Montarius Daniels.

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

The suspects charged in connection with an October 2018 burglary of a Cobb County convenience store are accused of being members of a street gang tied to a series of smash and grab incidents around north Georgia.

That’s according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which announced the arrests of three people stemming from the incident.

Atlanta residents Michael Ulysses Morgan, 19, and Jamarcus Purnell, 21, were arrested Friday by Kennesaw police with the help of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Gang Task Force and the Georgia Department of Supervision. Another person, Antwon Mark Palmer, 21, of Atlanta, was also apprehended Monday, Aug. 19. Two additional suspects were arrested earlier this year: Vernard O’Neal, who was captured in May, and Montarius Daniels, who was already in custody on unrelated charges, said GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles.

The GBI said the arrests stem from an investigation into a burglary reported Oct. 1, 2018, at a Texaco gas station at 3870 Moon Road. According to the GBI, five masked men entered the store, but were confronted by police who were dispatched to the store because of a burglary alarm.


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Kennesaw police previously told WSB-TV that the suspects began shooting at the officers, who returned fire. The suspects were able to get away in a stolen black Dodge Charger that was affixed with a stolen license plate. No officers were injured in the shooting.

A Kennesaw officer pursued the Charger, but lost sight of the car. The vehicle was later found abandoned on the Kennesaw State University campus, and officers recovered a cash box, a firearm, mask, gloves, bolt cutters and two crowbars from the Charger, the GBI said.

Investigators were able to determine that the five individuals allegedly behind the Kennesaw incident were part of 30 Deep, a “well-documented” street gang that were perpetrators of “smash and grab” burglaries around north Georgia since the late 2000s, the GBI added.

All five are charged with violating Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, burglary in the second degree, possession of tools during the commission of a crime, theft by taking, theft by receiving stolen vehicle, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, reckless driving and fleeing and attempting to elude police.

The GBI said the investigation remains active.

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