There will likely be multiple reward recipients
The Jewelers’ Security Alliance will pay out the $10,000 reward it offered for information leading to the arrest of the lone female armed robber who held up six jewelry stores in the Southeast.
On Jan. 8, federal authorities charged Abigail Lee Kemp (pictured, right) with sticking up six jewelers—five on her own, one with an accomplice. She allegedly nabbed $4 million in merchandise during her five-month crime spree.
After the most recent holdup, tips identifying the 24-year-old former waitress as the robber streamed into both the FBI and the JSA.
“The tips were essential,” says JSA president John Kennedy. “Once those final videos came out, people became more comfortable coming forward.”
There will probably be multiple reward recipients, he says.
“At this stage it is unlikely it will be one single person getting it all,” he says. “Information of value came in from different people. Right now, it will take a number of days to make a decision on who will get what.”
The recipients will be kept confidential for their safety, he adds.
Charges have also been brought against Kemp’s suspected accomplice, Lewis Jones III, who was in her company during her arrest. Jones is also a suspect in two Georgia armed bank robberies.
An affidavit filed in federal court charges that Kemp communicated with Jones via phone during the robberies.
An FBI agent told NBC News that the duo may have links to a larger jewelry theft organization.
“They definitely have some connection with the ability to get these items to a place that can sell them or get them on the market and turn them into cash,” said FBI special agent Lawrence Borghini.
According to WSB-TV, Kemp and her family broke down in court when she was placed in handcuffs. She faces 20 years in prison.
Kemp was an aspiring model, and some are already suggesting her case could be a movie.
But Kennedy says there is nothing glamorous about this story: “She may go to jail for a long time. She was with a [suspected] 35-year-old bank robber. These are dangerous people.”
JCK gave tips on how on robbery prevention here.
The JSA reward was made possible by a grant from the JCK Industry Fund.
(Photo courtesy of Jewelers’ Security Alliance)