Public Safety

Published on October 27th, 2015 |


85-year-old international jewelry thief arrested at Phipps Plaza store

Eighty-five-year-old international jewelry thief Doris Payne is now in Fulton County custody after reportedly shoplifting a $690 pair of earrings at the Christian Dior store inside Saks Fifth Avenue at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead.

Police believe Payne has been stealing high end jewelry for more than 50 years.

International jewelry thief Doris Payne in early years, at left, and today at age 85.

International jewelry thief Doris Payne in early years, at left, and today at age 85.

Atlanta police say they caught her this time after she slipped a pair of earrings costing $690 into her pocket at the Christian Dior store inside Saks Fifth Avenue. A loss prevention specialist reported that he observed her on surveillance video, according to a police report.

“I think these officers just thought it was a run of the mill shoplifting. They took the woman into custody and a short time thereafter they get notice that another jurisdiction had a warrant for her and she was an international thief,” said Atlanta Police Sgt. Warren Pickard.

“She put them in her pocket and politely walked out of the store,” Pickard said.

Doris Payne is known internationally for stealing high-end jewelry around the world. She was even featured in a 2013 documentary, “The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne.”

“According to my research, when she was 20 year old, she started committing crimes,” Pickard said. Police say she has made a lifelong career out of stealing. Mug shots of her arrests date back to the 1960’s.

In July, police suspected her of stealing a $32,000 David Yurman engagement ring from South Park Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina. Atlanta police say she is also wanted for crimes out of North Carolina.

Her attorney said Payne is in good spirits, but having some health issues.

(For a full report on the arrest of Doris Payne by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, click here.)

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