Notorious jewel thief Doris Payne, 86, caught shoplifting, police say

An infamous 86-year-old jewel thief was arrested again Monday night for stealing almost $83 worth of items from a Walmart.

However, the police said a security officer at Walmart watched Payne pile items from the pharmacy department in her purse and then transfer other items from her shopping cart to her purse and a shopping bag. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that she has stolen around $2 million in goods over the past sixty years.

She bonded out of the Chamblee jail and was likely to be booked into the DeKalb County jail for charges of violating her probation, Findling said, adding that he'd like to get things cleared up as quickly as possible.

She had been on probation at the time of her arrest for jewelry theft at another Atlanta mall in 2014. "We're not talking about high-end jewelry", he told the Associated Press.

"It causes me to forget", she said.

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Gretchen Von Helms, a California attorney who has represented Payne, said her former client's diminutive appearance and her age betray her "smarts".

Other notable run-ins with the law include an OH arrest in the 1980s when she escaped federal custody during a hospital visit and an arrest in 2013 for stealing a $22,500 diamond-encrusted in Palm Desert. She's well-known in fine-jewelry circles, and authorities say she has pocketed expensive jewels from stores around the world. She was also wearing an ankle monitor from a previous arrest for shoplifting. Last year, Payne was arrested for allegedly trying to steal a $2,000 diamond necklace from Perimeter Mall, FOX 5 reported.

In the documentary, she revealed how she first learned her trademark distraction trick as a teenager when a store clerk eagerly ditched her when a white customer came in.

In fact, her many heists-including the theft of a 10 ½-carat diamond in Monte Carlo years ago-were the subject of the 2013 documentary The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne.

'I don't have any regrets about stealing jewelry.

  • Stacy Houston