Report: Jewelry store bandit suspect was waitress, aspiring model

(Courtesy of Jewelry Security Alliance)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A young woman who authorities say hauled in more than $4 million in six jewelry store robberies with an accomplice throughout the South, including North Carolina, is expected to appear in court Monday.

UPDATE: Suspected southern jewelry store bandit expected in court


Abigail Lee Kemp, 24, of Smyrna Ga., was arrested on Friday along with another person just five days after an armed robbery in Mebane, NC, the FBI said.

Kemp was a former aspiring model and there are several photos of her posing on balconies of Atlanta high-rise buildings on a Facebook page for “Major Images Photography.”

Kemp also worked as a waitress in the past at Hooters and Twin Peaks Restaurant, both places that feature scantily clad waitresses, according an FBI affidavit obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Starting in late April 2015, Kemp and an accomplice hit or tried to hold up jewelry stores in Sevierville, Tenn; Bluffton, SC; Panama City Beach, Fla; and Dawsonville and Woodstock in Ga. — plus the latest in Mebane.

In some surveillance photos at robbery scenes, a maroon Honda sedan was spotted at the scene. A recent black paint job Kemp made to her previously maroon-colored Honda was among the tips called in to the FBI, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Related: Woman Sought in Jewel Heists Strikes Again, Police Say

Another tip called in was that Kemp was recently spotted wearing a lot of “expensive” jewelry, the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, the newspaper also reported that Kemp mysteriously left one high school and suddenly began attending Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, Ga., where she was a basketball and softball player, according to a friend.

Why she left the first school was “fun mystery for everyone,” Stephanie Godfrey told the newspaper.

“She thought she could get away with a lot,” Godfrey also said.

In the Mebane robbery on Monday — like nearly all the others — the suspect is accused of tying up two workers during a jewelry store robbery at Tanger Outlets.

The incident was reported around 10:30 a.m. at the Jared Vault at 4000 Arrowhead Boulevard. No one was injured.

Mebane police said the woman showed a handgun and ordered the employees to a back room before tying them up with zip-ties. In previous robberies of jewelry stores, the woman also showed a gun and tied up workers at the stores with zip-ties.

The woman fled with an undisclosed amount of merchandise.

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