Kemp sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for jewelry store robberies

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP)-- Abigail Kemp, the woman seen on surveillance video robbing jewelry stores across the southeast in 2015 and 2016 will spend the next 10 years in federal prison.

Abigail Lee Kemp, 25, has pleaded guilty to a total of six charges arising from jewelry store robberies in five states from April of 2015 till February of 2016. One of the robberies happened August 10, 2015, at REEDS Jewelers at Pier Park in Panama City Beach.

Kemp, 25, of Smyrna, Georgia, received her sentence on Friday in US Federal Court in Panama City.

One of Kemp's accomplices in the robberies, Larry Gilmore, 43, of Atlanta, was sentenced to 32 years in prison. They were both ordered to pay nearly $1.5 million in restitution.

Two other defendants, Lewis Jones III, 36 and Michael Gilmore, 47, both of Atlanta, will be sentenced in February.

Between April 2015 and January 2016, the conspirators committed armed robberies of six jewelry stores in Panama City Beach, Woodstock and Dawsonville, Georgia; Bluffton, South Carolina; Sevierville, Tennessee; and Mebane, North Carolina. More than $4 million of jewelry was stolen during the time frame of the conspiracy.

After the April 2015 robbery, Jones and the Gilmores began training Kemp to rob the jewelry stores on her own. The training took place at the Gilmore's window tint shop in Atlanta, Georgia. Jones and the Gilmores reviewed jewelry store layouts with Kemp and taught her how to handle a gun, secure employees with zip ties, and what merchandise to steal. They also gave Kemp various code words, decided her clothes and disguises, and then purchased supplies for her. Jones and the Gilmores always selected the dates and locations of the jewelry stores to be robbed.

Thereafter, Kemp would enter an outlet mall jewelry store at approximately the same time of day, show a gun, order the employees to the back of the store, and force them to lie face down while she zip tied their hands behind their backs. Hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of jewelry was then removed from the jewelry display cases. Kemp would use an earpiece to communicate with her conspirators while Jones and the Gilmores conducted surveillance and security outside.

In December 2015, a jewelry store manager believed Kemp matched the description of the white female who was previously linked to the armed robberies of various jewelry stores in the southeast. The store manager requested that another employee contact the police. The conspirators decided to call off the robbery and left the store. Five days later, they robbed the Mebane, North Carolina, jewelry store.

This case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Panama City Beach Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Kathryn D. Risinger and Michael J. Frank prosecuted the case.