FBI searching for jewelry bandit

MEBANE, N.C. (WXII/WNCN) — A woman authorities believe has robbed jewelry stores across the Southeast may be working with an accomplice.

The FBI on Tuesday released several photographs of the woman and of a man believed to be working with her.

A woman may be the same one who hit five jewelry store robberies in the South — netting more than $450,000 worth of goods — and then robbed a jewelry store Monday at Tanger Outlets in Mebane.

The incident was reported around 10:30 a.m. at the Jared Vault at 4000 Arrowhead Boulevard. No one was injured.

She may be working with a man caught on camera during robberies in Panama City Beach, Florida, and Dawsonville, Georgia.

Mebane police said the woman showed a handgun and ordered the employees to a back room before tying them up with zip-ties. In previous robberies of jewelry stores, the woman also showed a gun and tied up workers at the stores with zip-ties.

The woman fled with an undisclosed amount of merchandise, but so far has stolen more than $450,000 worth of jewelry in the six total robberies, officials say.

Police released a surveillance image of the suspect. She stands about 5 feet 8, weighs about 120 pounds and should be considered armed and dangerous, police said.

The same woman may be involved in similar robberies in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, police said.

Before Monday, the last jewelry store she robbed was in mid-October in Tennessee.

Officials are also investigating similar robberies of jewelry stores in Florida, South Carolina and two in Georgia.

In October, authorities say the woman went into Reeds Jewelers in Panama City Beach, Florida with a gun. In this case, she told two store employees to go to the store’s restroom where she zip-tied their hands, just like in Sevierville, before getting away with more than $400,000 worth of jewels.

Police say she pulls out a gun and forces employees into the back where she then ties them up before stealing the jewelry.

The first robbery was a Jared in Woodstock, Georgia. The next robbery was at a Zales in Dawsonville, Georgia. There she stole jewelry worth $13,000.

A week later a woman robbed a Reeds in Panama City Beach. She hit that one for $40,000.

The next store hit was a Jared Vault in Tanger Outlet Two in Bluffton, South Carolina. The thief was described as wearing a blue or purple striped skirt, a lavender and black brimmed hat according to WJCL.

Police are trying to figure out if the robberies were committed by the same woman.

The methods are similar and all the stores that were robbed were chain stores at large retail shopping/ entertainment plazas.

If you can identify the woman, know her whereabouts or have any other information that can help investigators, you’re asked to call Mebane police at 919-563-9031 or Alamance County Crime Stoppers at 336-229-7100.

— CNN and WATE-TV contributed to this report

WDTN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s