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FBI: Woman arrested in probe of jewelry store robberies

ATLANTA (AP) — A woman suspected in multiple jewelry store robberies across the Southeast, including nearby Dawsonville, has been arrested in Georgia along with one other person with her at the time, the FBI said late Saturday.


An FBI statement said 24-year-old Abigail Lee Kemp was arrested without incident Friday in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna.


The statement added that the other person with Kemp then also was taken into custody, but the agency cited the ongoing investigation in declining to identify the other person or give more details about the arrests.


Kemp's hometown also wasn't released, and it wasn't immediately known if she had an attorney.


Amanda Warford Videll, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Jacksonville, Florida, field office, confirmed to The Associated Press via email that the woman's arrest comes amid an investigation of jewelry store robberies last year in Dawsonville and Woodstock, as well as Sevierville, Tenn., Bluffton, S.C., and Panama City Beach, Fla.


She said the latest robbery occurred recently in Mebane, North Carolina.


A statement she released said agents from the FBI in Atlanta made the arrests while helping investigators in the agency's Jacksonville, Florida, division.


The spokeswoman said the FBI had gotten "numerous credible leads from the public" within hours of issuing a release in recent days requesting help in the case.


The FBI said the case would be handled by the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida.


The FBI began receiving tips soon after requesting assistance in identifying the suspect after the most recent armed robbery, which occurred Monday in Mebane, N.C.


The FBI said the woman robbed a Jared store at an outlet mall, tying two employees' hands before stealing several pieces of jewelry. She also reportedly pulled out a handgun upon entering the store.


The Dawsonville robbery occurred on Aug. 5.


Zales employees at North Georgia Premium Outlets told authorities a woman grabbed a pistol, zip-tied their hands and moved them to the back of the store as she stole more than $13,000 worth of jewelry.



Michele Hester of the FCN regional staff contributed to this report.