The Jewelers’ Security Alliance has never before seen a lone female armed robber
The FBI has named Abigail Lee Kemp as the female armed robber (pictured, right) responsible for stealing $4 million from six chain jewelry stores in the Southeast.
Kemp was arrested without incident on Jan. 8 in Smyrna, Ga., along with another individual, who has not been identified at press time.
In all his years covering industry security, John Kennedy, president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, says he has never before seen a lone female armed robber.
An FBI affidavit accompanying her criminal complaint says agents traced cellular traffic near the robberies and zeroed in on Kemp’s cell phone. In addition, after last week’s robbery of a Jared Vault in Mebane, N.C., received widespread publicity, several informants identified the woman in the photos as Kemp, with some saying that she possessed a black handgun, recently had her car painted black, and had lately been seen wearing expensive jewelry that she couldn’t ordinarily afford.
The affidavit charges that she held up five stores on her own—a Reeds Jewelers in Panama City Beach, Fla.; a Zales Outlet in Dawsonville, Ga.; a Jared Vault in Bluffton, S.C.; a Jared Vault in Sevierville, Tenn.; and last week’s robbery—and a sixth—a Jared’s Vault in Woodstock, Ga.—with an accomplice. She was also spotted in a Reeds Jewelers in Macon, Ga., but left before anything happened. Her typical MO was to pull out a gun, order employees to the back of the store, have them lie facedown, and zip-tie their hands, then empty out the jewelry drawers, the affidavit says.
The JSA offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to her capture, due to a grant from a JCK Industry Fund. At press time, it was not clear if anyone would collect.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kemp was also an aspiring model who waitressed for a while at a local bar and at Hooters.
(Photo courtesy of Jewelers’ Security Alliance)