International Thief, Back Behind Bars, at 83 Years Old

At 83 years old, Doris Payne, is back behind bars.  On October 21th, she used her conniving talent to steal a $22,000 ring in Palm Desert, California.  She was not arrested until a day later when the store merchant realized the ring was missing and was duped.  Payne has been using the same technique for the past six decades- charming the workers, wearing fashionable clothes, claiming to come into some money, and at some point distracting the worker.

Who is Doris Payne? She is one of the most notorious jewel thieves in the world. Payne has stolen from across the globe including London, Tokyo, Monte Carlo, Paris, and Greece. Jewelers’ Security Alliance president, John J. Kennedy, says “she has got to be, by far, the most long-lasting jewelry criminal we have ever had the opportunity to know”.  He also states that “her rap sheet is like a book”. Her history has pushed to a possible movie called “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne”.

Has Payne’s journey finally come to an end? I think so. That is, of course, if she is found guilty of this crime. There has been several times where she has been wrongfully accused due to her notoriety. However, she should have realized that technology is too sophisticated these days and she is likely caught on camera. If convicted, I do not believe the judge will be as sympathetic as every past judge has been.  There is no deterring this recidivist. Just three months after being released from jail for a similar incident, she goes out and commits this crime.  She has been convicted at least nine times for stealing!

Payne will be back in court and arraigned on November 5th, 2013.

Do you think her jewelry sniping career is officially over? Will the court system finally keep her in for good without releasing her on good behavior like in the past?

Picture: Doris Payne

Sources: Notorious Jewel Thief


  1. I feel that the decision in a case for Doris Payne could have different results. On the one hand, the court system might pity Payne because of her age and give her a light sentence. However I feel that because our justice system is based on the need for justice against wrongdoers, Payne might just get her just dessert. The fact that she was just released from jail for committing almost the same wrong doing would be a boost for the court to probably find that it is time to give her an equitable sentence. It is actually a surprise that she has been able to escape the justice system all these years, but her days of wheeling and dealing have probably come to an end.

  2. This lady is relentless! It is rare that you see a thief with a rap sheet as long as a novel as glorified as Doris Payne seems to be. It is as if she has achieved celebrity status but in a somewhat sympathetic way because of her upbringing, her story, and her non-violent way of achieving her crimes. Of course I feel bad for the countless jewelers who have suffered from Doris’s cunning ways, but you kind of have to respect her. Her motivation was applaudable while her way of carrying it out was not so much. Even at 83 she is still having at it; and jewelers such as the one in Palm Desert almost seem excited that he was a victim, stating that maybe he would get a part in the movie about her. I don’t think Doris’s jewelry sniping career will ever be over, even if she dupes the next judge into letting her out on good behavior. The silver lining is that some victims apparently see it as being touched by fame.

  3. Although Doris Payne has seemingly dedicated her career to perfecting jewelry theft I believe that the presiding judge should offer Ms. Payne an alternative other than prison time. Prison’s primarily purpose is to reform and deter individuals from committing the crime they committed or any crime in the future. Statstics have shown that prison costs the government over $30,000 a year. Ms. Payne is currently 83 years old, she is not worth burdening the government to keep her behind bars. She is a non-violent criminal who is nearing the pearly white gates. Imprisoning her and wasting judicial resources for a lengthy trial is futile and it constitutes sheer waste. Ms. Payne is not going to change, she is 83 years old. A more efficient avenue would be placing Ms. Payne in a monitored nursing home where she could inform law enforcement how she has eluded them for so long and what techniques she used to steal jewelry so law enforcement can catch criminals in the future.

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