An 86-year-old international jewel thief, accused of stealing a $33,000 ring from a SouthPark mall jewelry store in 2015, is accused of shoplifting at a Walmart in Georgia on Monday night.
Originally from West Virginia, Doris Payne is believed to have stolen about $2 million in jewels over the past 60 years, including a 10-carat diamond from Cartier in Monte Carlo, according to the New York Post.
Monday night’s theft was far less ambitious: Payne is accused of pilfering $86.22 in items from a DeKalb County Walmart’s pharmacy, electronics and grocery departments, multiple Atlanta media outlets reported Tuesday, citing a police report. She was charged with theft by shoplifting and is free on bail.
The Associated Press reported in 2005 that Payne would often walk into a jewelry store while posing as a well-to-do woman with money to spare. She’d ask to see a diamond ring, then ask to see an assortment of other pieces.
After confusing employees with the number of expensive jewelry items out of their cases, she casually slips one on her finger and leaves the store, the AP reported.
A similar tactic was reportedly used in Charlotte in summer 2015. Payne is suspected of stealing a diamond-studded platinum ring from the David Yurman store on July 11, according to an email the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department sent to jewelers in the area.
“She uses the ‘sleight of hand tactic,’ ” CMPD wrote in the July 2015 email. “Basically, she will have employees pull jewelry out of a display case. Once the employee is distracted, she quickly conceals them. … She is very good. She fooled the manager at David Yurman.”
Authorities caught up with her later that year after a $690 pair of earrings was stolen from a Saks Fifth Avenue department store in Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead neighborhood. Payne, however, was never extradited to Charlotte on a warrant from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.
Payne’s lawyer, Shawn McCullers, said in an email reply to the Observer at the time that she wouldn’t be extradited.
“We called and talked to (officials in North Carolina) and they decided they wouldn’t extradite her, which is often the case for a bunch of reasons,” McCullers said in an earlier interview with the Atlanta Constitution-Journal. “We voiced our concerns about the frailty of her health.”
Payne pleaded guilty in 2014 to burglary and grand theft for stealing a 3.5-carat, $22,500 ring from a California jeweler while on probation for stealing another ring in Los Angeles, according to USA Today. She was sentenced to four years in prison, but released three months later because of jail overcrowding.