The episode ‘The Diamond Diva’ of ID’s ‘FEDS’ delves deep into the jewelry store robbery spree that spanned across different states of the nation. With the polished young woman named Abigail Kemp in the FBI’s sights, they were confident that if they got their hands on her and made her surrender, she would cooperate with them. Apart from detailing the robberies intricately, the true crime documentary also showcases how Abigail did not hesitate to reveal the identities and plans of the rest of the gang for whom she worked.
Who are Abigail Kemp and Larry Gilmore?
Born in the early 1990s in Smyrna, GA, Abigail Lee Kemp moved to Atlanta later in life where she worked as a server at a restaurant. Soon, her entire life turned upside down when Lewis Jones and the Gilmores, Larry and Michael, showed interest in making her join their scheme to rob jewelry stores across the country for loads of cash. After resisting the offer at first, she eventually gave in to the idea of earning, or rather, looting, easy money. Soon enough, they became good friends and worked together to pull a series of jewelry store robberies.
The first of the many robberies took place at a Jared Vault jewelry store in Woodstock, Georgia, in April 2015. After this, Larry and the rest of the group started training Abigail to rob the stores on her own and do the dirty work for them, while they handled other aspects of it. During her training period, which took place at Larry and his brother’s window tint shop in Atlanta, she was taught how to handle a gun, zip-tie employees, and which jewelry items to steal. Apart from that, they even reviewed jewelry store layouts with her and gave her certain code words, picked out her disguises during the robbery, and supplied her with items she needed for the job.
With her training complete, Abigail entered the store of Jones and the Gilmores’ choosing, asking for help as she pretended to look for an item. As soon as an employee came for her assistance, she pulled a gun and instructed everyone to a back room of the store she was robbing. After zip-tying their hands, she went on to rob the store, removing several precious pieces of jewelry from the display cases, while Jones talked her through it through the earpiece she wore. Meanwhile, Larry and his brother were lookouts who surveyed the area for any cops or suspicious activities.
The success of this method of robbery encouraged them to commit several more robberies across the nation between April 2015 and January 2016, in Panama City Beach, Florida; Dawsonville, Georgia; Bluffton, South Carolina; Mebane, North Carolina; and Sevierville, Tennessee; using a similar plan and method. The total amount of their steal was calculated to be worth more than $4 million. However, a few months later, in December 2015, what seemed like a bulletproof method of robbing jewelry stores faced its first defeat when a store manager suspected Abigail to be the white female linked to the robberies of the jewelry stores in the southeast parts of the country. When the manager asked an employee to inform the police, the robbers had no option but to call off the robbery and leave in a hurry.
But only five days later, a jewelry store in Mebane, North Carolina, was robbed by Abigail and company. By now, the FBI had enough evidence against Abigail to obtain an arrest warrant, which they did. So, in January 2016, the FBI agents showed up at her apartment and luckily for them, Jones was in her apartment as well. Upon arresting Abigail and Jones, they scoured through the apartment in search of any more incriminating pieces of evidence and they discovered a black and silver handgun and an all-black handgun, both of which were similar in appearance to the ones used in the robberies.
Once Abigail got handcuffed, she supposedly showed no hesitance in implicating her codefendants, the Gilmore brothers. The FBI agents dropped by their house, arrested Larry and Michael, and found numerous firearms, including receipts for hotels, jewelry, business cards for jewelry stores, cell phones, and a black and silver handgun with laser.
Where are Abigail Kemp and Larry Gilmore Now?
At the trial, Abigail Kemp pleaded guilty to all the charges, including taking part in robberies committed in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and conspiring with Jones and the Gilmores in the Reeds Jewelers’ robbery of August 2015. She even testified against the other three members in the hope that the court would show her some mercy and leniency. She also appeared to be quite remorseful and guilty, as she said, “I am truly sorry for everything I’ve done. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the victims. I pray for them every single day. I hope one day they can live in peace.”
On the other hand, Larry Gilmore claimed that he was innocent and illegally arrested as there was no concrete evidence that linked him to the crimes. Despite his claims, in January 2017, 25-year-old Abigail and 43-year-old Larry Gilmore were sentenced to 10 years and 32 years in prison, respectively, for their roles in the robberies. Moreover, they were also supposed to pay $1,499,690 in restitution for the damage they caused. Currently, Abigail is serving her decade-long sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution at 501 Capital Circle Northeast in Tallahassee, with her being eligible for parole in July 2024. Meanwhile, Larry is currently held at the United States Penitentiary Atlanta at 601 McDonough Boulevard Southeast in Atlanta, looking forward to his eligible parole date, that is, September 2030.