Feedback
News

'Bold' Female Jewel Thief Has Stolen Millions in Stickups, FBI Says

The female jewel thief targeting stores across the South has stolen millions of dollars worth of bling and is probably part of a sophisticated ring, investigators said Wednesday.

The brazen young woman, working with a male accomplice who was also caught on video during the stickups, has already robbed six stores since April, prompting the FBI to launch a manhunt.

"This is a very unusual case," Special Agent Lawrence Borghini of the FBI's Jacksonville, Florida, office told NBC News.

Mysterious female jewel thief strikes again 1:13

A jewelry trade group has declared her "Public Enemy No. 1" and put out a $10,000 reward.

"She's a very, very bold criminal," said John Kennedy, president of the Jeweler Security Alliance.

All the heists follow the same, carefully orchestrated pattern.

The woman cases a store, then comes back the next day and casually chats with workers about an item. Suddenly, she whips a gun out of her purse and forces the employees to a back room — where she steals their keys and uses zip-ties to secure them.

"At that point, she'll go back to the merchandise area of the store to lock the front door," Borghini said.

"Then she'll retrieve some shopping bags from her purse...and start loading various high-dollar value items, typically diamonds and watches, from the jewelry store."

Image: FBI Seeking Identity of Suspect in Multiple Jewelry Store Robberies
According to the FBI, a white female in her late 20s or early 30s and approximately 5’8” tall and 130 pounds was one of the jewelry store robberies suspects. FBI Jacksonville

Outside, her getaway driver is waiting, in a car with dark-tinted windows and temporary or dealer tags. Kennedy said she uses an earpiece to communicate with him.

"He is definitely involved in all the robberies because she is not doing these alone," Borghini said.

The duo is clearly going after certain, very expensive items, and investigators believe they are part of a larger organization that may be supplying a wish-list and then fencing the hot goods in a big city or even overseas.

"They definitely have some connection with the ability to get these items to a place which can sell them or get them on the market and turn them into cash," Borghini said.

Image: surveillance footage of female jewelry store robberies suspect
The FBI, in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies, is seeking to identify two suspects who are believed have have been involved with multiple jewelry store robberies in multiple states. The first unknown suspect is described as a White female in her late 20s or early 30s. She is approximately 5'8" tall and 130 pounds. FBI

The fact that the suspects don't wear masks — the woman does wear gloves — might make them easier to catch. But it could also make them more dangerous.

"People are now going to start to recognize who she is," Borghini said. "They're going to realize why she's there, she is armed, and she at that point becomes very unpredictable."

The woman -- whose looks have drawn comparisons to actress Anna Kendrick -- has already been recognized once.

A week ago, a manager at a store in Georgia realized who she was and "upon realizing that was not a good situation, [the thief] departed," Borghini said.

Kennedy said he's never seen a robbery pattern like this one in his decades-long career.

"Usually you have a gang of males will go in — occasionally they'll be accompanied by a female — but to have a lone female go in is extraordinarily rare," he said.