Infamous 86-Year-Old Jewelry Nabber Arrested

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Doris Payne was arrested and charged last week for trying to steal a $1,995 diamond necklace from a Von Maur department store near Atlanta.

Payne was raised in West Virginia and moved with her family to Ohio when she was a teenager. As a young adult Payne embarked on her life of crime after an incident where a store owner allowed her to try on a watch and while he was distracted, decided to slip out the door unnoticed. From that point she determined this would be the way she could support herself.

During the 1970’s a bulletin was sent out to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, warning about Payne. It is believed that Payne used up to 22 aliases since her life of crime began, and has allegedly gotten away with more jewelry nabs then what she has been convicted of, according to authorities.

When asked about her methods for stealing valuables by the AP, Payne said, “I don’t dictate what happens when I walk in the store. The people in charge dictate what happens with me when I walk in the store. I don’t tell a person in the store I want to see something that costs $10,000. They make those decisions based on how I present myself and how I look.”


In Atlanta, court papers dating back to 1999 reference six other cases of theft, primarily in southern California,  before her alleged theft a year ago.

Last year Payne was represented by an attorney after being accused of stealing a $690 set of earrings from Saks Fifth Avenue Department store in the Buckhead neighborhood. The attorney has yet to respond regarding her clients arrest on Tuesday.

After attempting to leave the Von Maur Department Store with the $1,995 diamond necklace in her back pocket this past week, Dunwoody Police arrested Payne and charged her with shoplifting.

There has been no release of bond information on the 86-year-old woman.



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