Georgia suspects indicted on multi-state jewelry store robberies

An unlikely Bonnie-and-Clyde style duo of alleged jewel thieves were arraigned Friday, after being charged with crimes related to a string of jewelry store armed robberies.

Abigail Lee Kemp, 24, of Smyrna, and Lewis Jones III, 35, of Atlanta, were arraigned in a Florida federal court after a grand jury indicted the two on charges of conspiracy, obstructing commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, Acting United States Attorney Christopher P. Canova said.

Kemp and Jones were arrested Jan. 8 near Smyrna and charged with the armed robberies in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Canova said hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewelry were stolen from six jewelry stores between April 2015 and January 2016. Some of the store hit were Jared Vault, Zales Outlet and Reeds Jewelers.

Federal investigators said Kemp and Jones worked as team, swiping diamonds and watches from jewelry stores. In each case, store employees were forced at gunpoint into a back room and zip-tied. Then, using the employees’ keys to open display cases, Kemp grabbed expensive items and shoved them into her shopping bag, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

The trial is scheduled for March 21 at the federal courthouse in Panama City, Fla.