Notorious Jewel Thief Caught Shoplifting in Walmart

Cops say Doris Payne's latest theft was worth $86.22
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2017 12:02 AM CDT
In this Jan. 11, 2016 photo, Doris Payne speaks during an interview in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
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(Newser) – A notorious jewel thief with an illicit career spanning six decades has been caught stealing again, but she wasn't after sparkly gems this time, police near Atlanta say. Doris Payne, 86, was arrested at a Walmart store around 5pm Monday and charged with shoplifting $86.22 worth of merchandise, according to a report from Chamblee police. The charge is a misdemeanor. Payne was the subject of a 2013 documentary film, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, that detailed her feats. In an interview with the AP last year, she casually acknowledged, "I was a thief." She's well-known in fine-jewelry circles, and authorities say she has pocketed expensive jewels from stores around the world.

Her attorney, Drew Findling, says this case is different. "This is a sharp contrast to all the cases in the past. We're not talking about high-end jewelry," he says. "We're talking about what an 86-year-old woman needs to survive on a day-to-day basis, food supplies and medical supplies." The police report doesn't list the items that Payne allegedly tried to steal. When Payne was booked into the Chamblee jail, police discovered she was wearing an electronic ankle monitor because she was on probation from a prior arrest in DeKalb County. She pleaded guilty in March to a felony shoplifting charge after authorities said she tried to steal a $2,000 necklace from a Von Maur department store. (Read more Walmart stories.)

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