Jewelry heist co-defendants found guilty
The three men federal authorities say helped Abigail Kemp rob jewelry stores in five states have been found guilty in federal court.
Lewis Jones III, 36, and brothers Larry Gilmore, 44, and Michael Gilmore, 47, are facing up to life in prison.
Kemp testified against the three in their week-long trial which wrapped up Monday in Panama City. Kemp is also looking at a sentence of up to life in prison for her role, after pleading guilty to her role about two weeks ago. Kemp, Jones and the Gilmores will all be sentenced in October.
Kemp, along with Jones and the Gilmores teamed to rob the stores. Investigators say Kemp was recruited by Jones and the Gilmores who showed her how to rob the jewelry stores and what items to steal.
Court documents say, "More specifically, Jones, M. Gilmore, and L. Gilmore instructed Kemp on the proper way to manipulate a handgun, how to act when in a store, how to secure the store employees with zip ties, and what code words to use when communicating with them during these robberies."
In the Panama City Beach robbery, according to court documents, "On or about August 10, 2015, Kemp, Jones, M. Gilmore and L. Gilmore traveled from the Atlanta, Georgia, area to Panama City Beach, Florida, with the intent of robbing a jewelry store.
"On August 11, 2015, at approximately 10:10 a.m. Kemp entered Reeds Jewelers Store #154 located in Pier Park...and displayed a loaded, black and silver handgun. At gunpoint, Kemp ordered the two store employees to the store's restroom, made them kneel or lay face down on the floor, and zip-tied their hands behind their backs. Jones removed the front door stop and closed the front door of the business. Kemp then locked the front door and proceeded to steal approximately $679, 319.96 worth of jewelry from the display cases. Jones, M. Gilmore and L. Gilmore remained in the vicinity outside of the store, acting as "lookouts." for Kemp. Subsequent to the robbery, Kemp provided the stolen jewelry to her co-Defendants. Kemp used a cellular telephone connected to an earpiece to communication with her co-Defendants during the robbery.
"Following the Panama City Beach robbery, Jones, M. Gilmore, and L. Gilmore traveled to the Miami, Florida, area where they exchanged the stolen jewelry from the Dawsonville and Panama City Beach robberies for cash. Kemp was eventually paid for her role in the robberies."
Kemp and her co-defendants were caught after the FBI received tips from the public as to Kemp's identity. Once investigators found out her name, they were able to use her cell phone to put her near the jewelry stores at the time they were robbed. They used cell phone records to link her to Lewis' cell phone at times both during and after the robberies took place.
Here's a breakdown of the robberies Kemp says she took part in, including date, location and amount of merchandise stolen according to court documents filed two weeks ago in federal court. All of the robberies followed the same pattern as the one in Panama City Beach.
April 28, 2015-- Woodstock, Georgia. Jared Vault. $857, 484.61
August 5, 2015-- Dawsonville, Georgia. Zales Outlet Store. $13, 254.
August 10, 2015-- Panama City Beach, Florida. REEDS Jewelers. $679, 319.96.
September 2, 2015- Bluffton, South Carolina. Jared Vault Store. $927, 438.99.
October 15, 2015-- Sevierville, Tennessee. Jared Vault Store. $893, 550.11.
December 30, 2015- Macon, Georgia. REEDS Jewelers. Nothing taken (UPS Driver entered the store and disrupted the robbery before it took place.)
January 4, 2016-- Mebane, North Carolina. Jared Vault Store. $938, 601.80.