Notorious 86-Year-Old Jewel Thief Doris Payne Charged With Shoplifting

A notorious 86-year-old jewel thief dubbed ‘Granny Gem Thief’ was arrested for shoplifting at an Atlanta-area Walmart on Monday.


Doris Payne was wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet from a previous conviction at the time of her arrest. She was released on bond the same day, only to be re-arrested and jailed on Tuesday, NBC reports.

Her re-arrest was the result of a probation violation stemming from an earlier theft conviction.

Payne told NBC News prior to her second arrest that she had simply forgot to pay for the $86.22 (£66) worth of items.

Credit: Chamblee Police Handout

“Thieving was the farthest thing from my mind,” she said in a phone interview with NBC.

She claimed she had taken medicine which caused her mind to get muddled up, causing her to forgot to pay.

She added that she took the items and put them in a shopping bag as she did not have a basket. Payne also said that she had told the cashier what she had done before leaving the store.

Her attorney, Drew Findling, said Payne was just two weeks away from completing her ankle monitoring and had been obeying all aspects of her probation.

“There’s no brooch, no diamond pendant, no earrings. She was at Walmart. This is now an 86-year-old woman who needs some medicine and groceries to live day to day,” he said.

“This doesn’t fit into anything she has done before and we are going to look at the video and see what’s going on, see if this is maybe forgetfulness.”

Overall, she is thought to have stolen $2million (£1.53m) in jewellery and received global fame after she was profiled in a 2013 documentary.


Source: BBC and NBC

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

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