Police re-evaluating evidence against cheerleader

Sgt. Dana Pierce of the Cobb County Police Department said Friday other concerns had come up during interviews, and detectives planned to "go back and re-interview" some people, including the three friends of 17-year-old Chelsea Alexa Steele.

"It's going to be revisited," Pierce said.

Steele, a Sprayberry High School student, allegedly took the money from two sisters, 9 and 11, who had collected it by selling Fourth of July gear from a pool-side stand in an east Cobb County subdivision. Their father said the sisters hoped to earn money for the summer and also to help their father's company, JAG Designs, which has struggled in recent months.

The girls said on a national TV show Friday morning they thought they could trust Steele, but her "sweet" demeanor was "just an act."

Eleven-year-old Sidney Green said on NBC's "Today" Steele pretended she wanted to buy a cap or T-shirt from the girls. She held a $20 bill out to the girls, quickly snatched it back and then grabbed a cash box containing $147.

Police said Steele and three other girls then fled the St. Charles Square subdivision in a white Ford Taurus.

Sidney's dad, Joe Green, said during the TV interview that he was unsure if he wanted to see Steele prosecuted.

Steele has pleaded not guilty to robbery and underage possession of alcohol charges, and she was released on Wednesday from the Cobb County jail on a $5,000 bond .

"It's a tough decision," Joe Green said. "I want her to learn a lesson from this."

The girls said their faith in people had been shaken but was restored when a man who had heard about the incident came by and gave them $200 to compensate for the stolen money.

-- Staff writer Megan Matteucci contributed to this article.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.