Jewel thief, 87, spared jail after guilty plea

AP
A notorious jewel thief recently arrested at a Georgia Walmart store got no jail time during her latest court appearance.
AP

A notorious jewel thief recently arrested at a Georgia Walmart store got no jail time during her latest court appearance.

Doris Payne, at 87, has stolen about US$2 million in jewels over the last six decades.

She was arrested July 17 for a misdemeanor shoplifting charge after a Walmart employee said she tried to leave the suburban Atlanta store with items she hadn’t paid for.

Payne had been on probation after pleading guilty in March to a felony shoplifting charge for trying to steal a US$2,000 necklace from a department store in December. She was jailed for violating that probation.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Payne appeared Monday before Chamblee Municipal court Judge Angela Duncan, who told her “Don’t come back.”

“I won’t,” said Payne, who pleaded guilty in a deal that gave her credit for 58 days served from July through September.

Over the years, Payne has dressed in fine clothes with deep pockets, charmed sales workers at high-end department stores, distracted them and slipped out with expensive jewelry, the newspaper has previously reported. She was the subject of a 2013 documentary, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne.”

“There’s never been a day that I went to steal that I did not get what I went to do,” she said in the film.

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