By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Jewelry heist suspect nabbed
Cell number, social media led FBI to Dawsonville robbery suspect
2. Jewel Thief Arrested pic
Abigail Lee Kemp is believed to have executed multiple similarly-styled jewelry store robberies across the Southeast region in recent months, including the Aug. 5 armed robbery of the Zales Outlet at North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville. - photo by For the Dawson County News

Abigail Lee Kemp made no effort to hide her face as she casually walked into the Zales Outlet at North Georgia Premium Outlets last August when authorities say she ordered workers to the back of the store and zip-tied their hands before making off with more than $13,000 in jewels.

On Monday, appearing before a federal judge, she no longer held that err of confidence authorities said she possessed when she hit jewelry stores in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and North Carolina over the last several months.

Kemp, 24, of Smyrna was taken into custody without incident Friday by agents from the FBI Atlanta Division.

She is being held on conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats or violence, a federal offense that could carry a maximum 20-year sentence.

Also arrested in connection with the case was Lewis Jones, 35, of Atlanta, at a residence in the 2300 block of Cobb Parkway.

Jones, who agents said is believed to be responsible for at least two metro Atlanta area bank robbers, was charged by Dekalb County Police for his role in the Aug. 12 armed robbery of the Navy Federal Credit Union on Briarcliff Road in Atlanta.

He is also considered a suspect in a Sept. 9 armed robbery of a Regions Bank on Cumberland Parkway in Smyrna.

Authorities said Kemp was communicating with an accomplice on an earpiece phone during several of the armed robberies. Kemp reportedly told agents she was in contact with Jones, who served as her lookout while she was inside the jewelry stores.

Jones is also charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats or violence, according to federal court records filed Monday.

Court records also show that a key piece of evidence that tipped the case came from cellular tower information that showed Kemp's personal telephone number being picked up at or near all of the robbery locations in Panama City Beach, Fla., Woodstock and Blufton, S.C. during the time when the robberies were being committed.

A second major break in the case involved the identification of a Honda Civic on social media belonging to a relative of Kemp's that was believed to have been painted from maroon to black.

A license plate reader system revealed the vehicle had been at various nearby locations during the time of the robberies.

The FBI began receiving credible tips soon after releasing surveillance photos and requesting assistance in identifying the suspect after the most recent armed robbery.

On Jan. 4 at approximately 10:36 a.m., a white female in her late 20s or early 30s and approximately 5'8" tall and 130 pounds entered a Jared Vault location in Mebane, N.C. and displayed a handgun.

"We thank our partners in the media who provided invaluable assistance in publicizing from our need for information from the public," said Michelle S. Klimt, special agent in charge with the FBI Jacksonville Division.

"We also thank the many callers who provided us with information to assisting the investigation."

 

COVID-19 NEWS