Technology, Traditional Police Work Help FBI Catch Woman In Jewelry Heists


The FBI caught a woman suspected in a slew of jewelry store robberies across the South, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Abigail Lee Kemp's alleged five-state crime spree came to an end Friday after the FBI identified her through a combination of technology and traditional police work: analyzing cell phone records and video surveillance, monitoring social media, and following up on calls from suspicious friends. Among the tips: that Kemp “was wearing expensive jewelry that some of the callers believe she cannot afford.”

The first heist took place April 28, at a jewelry store in Woodstock, Ga., where the suspect and an unidentified male accomplice herded employees into a bathroom and zip-tied their hands before raiding the store's display cases, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. On Aug. 5, she struck again, pulling a handgun at a Zales Outlet in Dawsonville, Ga. Four similar robberies and one attempt were reported in four other states over the next five months. The total haul was worth about $4 million. A turning point in the case came from a specific phone number with a north Georgia area code. Cell tower data showed that the number popped up at or near jewelry stores in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina at the time the businesses were being robbed, authorities said. Investigators used the number to identify Kemp.

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