One of two suspects in multiple jewelry store robberies across the southeast has been arrested in Smyrna. The two suspects are believed to be responsible for several robberies, including one in Woodstock. A plea issued in early January may have led to the arrest.
Taken into Custody Without Incident
On Friday, January 8, Abigail Lee Kemp, 24, was taken into custody without incident in Smyrna. She was arrested by agents from the FBI’s Atlanta Division who were assisting Jacksonville agents with the investigation. Another person who was with Kemp at the time of her arrest was also taken into custody. The reason for the arrest of the second woman was not made public. According to reports, Kemp’s accomplice in the robberies was a black male in his late 30s or early 40s, approximately six feet tall and weighing around 250 pounds. He was seen on surveillance video during three robberies in Panama City, Florida, Woodstock, Georgia and Dawsonville, Georgia.
According to police reports, Kemp allegedly entered the Jared Vault Store in Mebane, North Carolina, and displayed a handgun. At gunpoint, she forced two employees into a back room, zip-tying their hands. She returned to the store where she removed items from display cases and placed them in a shopping bag before exiting the store. Her description matched that of a woman who committed robberies at the following locations:
- Jewlery store in Sevierville, Tennesee on October 16
- Jared Jewelry in Bluffton, South Carolina on September 2
- Reeds Jewelers in Panama City Beach, Florida on August 11
- Zale’s Jewlery in Dawsonville, Georgia on August 5
- Jared Jewelry in Woodstock on April 29
Both Kemp and the unknown male accomplice were allegedly seen leaving the scene of the robberies in different vehicles of varying styles.
Protecting Yourself in a Robbery
Facing an armed gunman at work is something no retail employee wants to experience. Yet, statistics indicate that jewelry stores lose more than $125 million annually as a result of robberies. There are steps that can be taken to protect stores from being the victim of a robbery. One suggestion is to have two or more employees on the floor at all times as the chance of robbery is lower with multiple employees present. Be sure the video system in the store is working properly. Use display cases with burglary resistant glass on the sides, front and top to slow the robber down. If you are robbed, obey the orders of the robber and do not attempt to disarm them. Do not press a holdup alarm until the robbers have left. If police arrive while the robber is in the store, a hostage situation could develop. As soon as the robbers leave, contact the police. Do not touch anything or try to clean up glass as you may destroy evidence.
Waggoner Insurance does not want any employer or employee to be the victim of a robbery. In the event the worst happens, we offer insurance that will cover your losses and damages until the thief is apprehended. We also offer health, life, home and auto insurance so that employees are also protected should the worst happen. Contact Waggoner Insurance today to learn more about the insurance products they have available that will protect your family, your business, your staff and your property should tragedy occur.