Cops: 85-Year-Old Jewel Thief Strikes Again
She's in it for the game, not the money
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 27, 2015 5:03 PM CDT
   (Uncredited)

(Newser) – Ten years ago, when she was 75 years old, Doris Payne swore she was done with a lifetime of pilfering jewels across two continents. Several arrests later, in 2013, she said again that she was leaving that life behind. But police say Payne, now 85, is at it again: She was recently arrested and charged with pocketing a $690 pair of earrings from a Saks Fifth Avenue department store at a mall in Atlanta. A store security guard watching surveillance video saw Payne enter a Christian Dior boutique inside the department store and take the earrings from a standing shelf before quickly leaving, the police report says. She was arrested in the mall, and the earrings were found in her pocket, the report says.

Payne is said to have committed countless thefts over six decades in the US and Europe and has discussed her exploits in media interviews over the years. The daughter of an illiterate coal miner, Payne was born in West Virginia. When she was 23, she walked out of a Pittsburgh jewelry store with a diamond valued at $22,000, kicking off a criminal career that would land her behind bars multiple times. Through the years, authorities have said she has used at least 22 aliases and probably got away with her crimes more often than she got caught. In a 2005 interview, Payne said she was in it for the game, not the money. "I've had a good time," she told the AP. Click for more on her fascinating life.