Nearly two-and-half weeks after a Smyrna resident pleaded guilty to a multistate jewelry heist, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison on conspiracy, interfering with commerce by robbery and firearm charges. Police say she stole more than $4 million in jewels.
Abigail Kemp was trained – groomed even – on the art of the jewelry thefts, but the final nail in her robbery career came Friday.
One of the accomplices, Larry Gilmore, 43, of Atlanta, was sentenced to 32 years in prison, U.S. Department of Justice North District of Florida spokeswoman Amy Alexander said. The two must also pay back $1.5 million in restitution.
Kemp testified against Gilmore and two other accomplices in December in an attempt to receive leniency from the court.
According to authorities, Kemp was recruited in April 2015 to rob jewelry stores by Gilmore, as well as Michael Bernard Gilmore, 47, and Lewis Jones III, 36, both of Atlanta.
From there, authorities say they trained Kemp at the Gilmores’ window tint shop in Atlanta.
She learned how to handle a gun, secure employees with zip ties and was told what merchandise to steal – all key details in the foursome’s previous thefts.
The crew, authorities say, also gave Kemp code words, selected her clothes and disguises and then purchased her supplies.
Jones and the Gilmores also chose the jewelry stores they robbed, Alexander said.
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 tied their hands behind their backs.
She would then take the jewelry all the while using an earpiece to communicate to Jones and the Gilmores, who conducted surveillance and security outside the stores, Alexander said.
The routine worked until December 2015 when a manager of a jewelry store the foursome was attempting to rob matched Kemp with a description given from the conspirators’ previous robberies.
The group called off the robbery just as an employee was calling police, Alexander said. Five days later they robbed a Mebane, N.C. jewelry store.
Six armed robberies were committed across the Southeast including Woodstock and Dawsonville, Georgia by the foursome before Kemp’s January 2016 arrest at an undisclosed location in Smyrna.
Jones and Michael Gilmore are schedule for sentencing Feb. 16.