International jewel thief (85) jailed over Atlanta heist

Doris Payne accused of stealing Dior earrings in latest incident in decades-long career

Photo released by the Fulton County sheriff’s office shows  Doris Payne (85) following her arrest for shoplifting. Photograph: Fulton County sheriff’s office/EPA

Photo released by the Fulton County sheriff’s office shows Doris Payne (85) following her arrest for shoplifting. Photograph: Fulton County sheriff’s office/EPA

 

An 85-year-old international jewelry thief was back behind bars on Tuesday, charged with stealing a pair of $690 (about €764) earrings from an Atlanta store, in the latest caper in her decades-long career as a jetsetting burglar.

Doris Payne was caught pocketing a pair of Christian Dior earrings from a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Atlanta on Friday, according to an Atlanta police report.

She was charged with shoplifting and remained in the Fulton County jail on Tuesday.

Payne faces extradition to Charlotte, North Carolina, on another jewelry theft charge, police said.

Police said they arrested Payne after store security personnel spotted her on video.

Payne was apprehended at an adjoining shopping mall, and the earrings were found in her pocket, according to the police report.

Payne told police she lives in Long Beach, California.

Documentary

Payne was the subject of a 2013 documentary, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne,

The 2013 documentary film chronicled Payne’s more than 60-year career as a jewelry thief and how she “managed to jet-set her way into any Cartier or Tiffany’s from Monte Carlo to Japan and walk out with small fortunes”, according to the film’s website.

“I don’t have any regrets about stealing jewelry,” she told the filmmakers.

“There was never a day when I went to steal that I did not get what I went to do.”

In 2013, Payne was charged with stealing a $22,500 (about €25,000) diamond-encrusted ring from a California jewelry store.

After her arrest, a judge initially refused to release her on bond, noting that Payne had previously listed her occupation on court records as “jewelry thief”, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Reuters