Police: International jewelry thief, 85, arrested in Atlanta

Doris Payne (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Doris Payne (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Authorities believe 85-year-old Doris Payne has been stealing high-end jewelry for more than 50 years.

Tuesday morning, Payne sat in a Fulton County jail cell, accused of slipping into her pocket a pair of $690 earrings and walking out of the Christian Dior store inside Saks Fifth Avenue at Phipps Plaza without paying for them.

“I think these officers just thought it was a run of the mill shoplifting,” Atlanta police spokesman Warren Pickard told Channel 2 Action News.

It wasn’t.

Police soon found out the woman in custody was known for allegedly stealing high-end jewelry around the world. According to Pickard’s research, Payne’s criminal history, the basis of the 2013 documentary “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne,” began when she was in her 20s.

In addition to her most recent arrest in Atlanta, Payne is wanted in North Carolina, where she allegedly stole a $32,000 David Yurman engagement ring in July from a Charlotte-area mall, WSOC-TV reported.

—Please return to AJC.com for updates.

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