Investigation Reports. Serial Jewel Thief Abigail, aka Diamond Diva, was convicted of six-armed jewelry store robberies across five southeastern states. Abigail and her co-conspirators became the target of a national search after authorities released videos of the jewelry heists.
A video of the woman accused of being the nation’s most wanted jewel thief shows her golfing, drinking, and acting silly, as well as glamour shots.
Why Did Abigail Kemp Became a Jewel Thief?
Motive: Money and a Lavish Lifestyle
Before starting her stint in crime, she reportedly did her homework. Authorities say Abigail received extensive training from two brothers, Michael and Larry Gilmore. According to the reports, they routinely practiced what amounts to an armed robbery training course until they believed she was ready to commit the robberies.
During this training, they reviewed layouts of the targeted jewelry stores with Abigail, instructed her on the proper way to use a handgun, how to secure the employees with zip ties, what merchandise to steal from the store, and gave her various code words to use when communicating during the jewelry store robberies. The men further decided what clothes/disguises she would wear during the robberies and then purchased the items for her. Authorities say she kept in touch with the men via an earpiece connected to her cell phone during the thefts.
The multi-state crime spree began in April 2015 when Abigail raided a jewelry store in Woodstock, Georgia. According to an FBI affidavit, she pretended to be an innocent bystander when her alleged accomplice entered the store. She laid down on the floor along with staff after being threatened but later sprang to her feet and acted as a lookout while an alleged male accomplice rifled through glass display cabinets, snatching diamonds and other jewels.
After Kemp learned her routine, she put it into motion: enter an outlet mall, pull out a gun, and force employees to the back of the store, then make them lie face down and tie their hands behind their backs. The Gilmores also chose the jewelry stores they robbed.
She would then take the jewelry while using an earpiece to communicate to Jones and the Gilmores, who conducted surveillance and security outside the stores.
Between April 2015 and January 2016, the conspirators committed armed robberies of six jewelry stores in:
Panama City Beach, Florida—$679K worth of jewelry stolen
Woodstock, Georgia and Dawsonville, Georgia
Bluffton, South Carolina—$927K worth of jewelry stolen
Sevierville, Tennessee—$900K; Abigail uses a different disguise
Mebane, North Carolina—$900K
The routine worked until December 30, 2015. A jewelry store manager in Macon, Georgia, believed Abigail 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 group called off the theft just as an employee was calling the police.
Five days later, in January 2016, they robbed a Mebane, N.C. jewelry store.
The jewelry store hold-ups in Tennessee and North Carolina each netted over $900,000. More than $4.5 millions of jewelry was stolen during the time frame of the conspiracy.
No Stolen Jewelry Was Recovered. It was sold in Florida immediately after the robberies.
Court records show that a key break in the case came from one phone number with a North Georgia area code. An analysis of cell tower data found that the number showed up at or near jewelry stores while the businesses were being robbed.
Court records detail how authorities then used the phone number to identify Abigail Kemp as a suspect and found a photo of a maroon Honda Civic on her social media accounts that matched the description of one seen in the surveillance video.
Authorities zeroed in on a woman after analyzing records from cellphone towers near the robberies, then checking social media and hearing from suspicious friends.
Surveillance videos were released to the public, which led Abigail’s friends to contact authorities. The images showed a female dressed in a jogging suit in one robbery and wearing a black cowboy hat in another.
Within hours of issuing a press release requesting assistance in identifying the suspects, the FBI Jacksonville Division began receiving numerous credible public leads.
Some citizens further advised that during recent contact with Abigail, she was wearing expensive jewelry that some callers believed she could not afford. Some citizens also advised that Kemp possessed a black handgun and recently had her car painted black.
Former model Abigail Kemp terrorized more than a dozen victims during robberies across five states over one year. One victim told Crime Watch Daily that Abigail held her at gunpoint during a heist.
Abigail Kemp’s Arrest
Abigail was arrested at her apartment outside Atlanta. Kemp was charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats or violence. The complaint alleges that, in each robbery, the robber or robbers displayed a handgun, ordered the employees to the back of the store, ordered them to lie face-down on the floor, and bound their hands behind their backs with zip ties.
The woman who entered jewelry stores alone and tied up employees at gunpoint before emptying the showcases will spend the next decade behind bars. Also sentenced was one of Kemp’s three co-conspirators, 43-year-old Larry Bernard Gilmore, who got 32 years in prison. The two also were ordered to pay $1,499,690 in restitution for the more than $4 million in jewelry stolen between April 2015 and January 2016.
Abigail Kemp testified against Gilmore and two other accomplices in December to receive leniency from the court.
Abigail Lee Kemp, 25, of Smyrna, GA, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiracy, interfering with commerce by robbery, and using a firearm during a crime of violence.
According to authorities, Abigail was recruited in April 2015 to rob jewelry stores by Larry Gilmore, Michael Bernard Gilmore, and Lewis Jones III, both of Atlanta. Larry Gilmore was sentenced to 32 years in prison.
This case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Panama City Beach Police Department.
Kemp did not attempt to conceal her face and wore workout attire during each armed robbery. She claimed that she was “forced” and “guilted” into committing the six jewelry store robberies in five states.
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How Jewelry Thief Abigail Kemp Was Captured
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