Longtime Jewel Thief Doris Payne Faces New Shoplifting Charges

Oct 29, 2015
Originally published on November 10, 2015 3:23 pm
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In this country, a celebrity jewel thief is awaiting arraignment. Doris Payne is 85. She's accused of stealing earrings from an Atlanta department store.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's the latest incident in a six-decade career. Her life as a jewel thief is so extensive, it was the focus of a 2013 documentary, "The Life And Crimes Of Doris Payne."

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DORIS PAYNE")

DORIS PAYNE: Stealing jewelry - it was just exciting. It also became a social outlet for me. That was my everything. I'd just be anybody I wanted to be.

INSKEEP: Doris Payne says she grew up poor but learned how to disguise herself as wealthy. So long as she looked affluent, nobody suspected her when she walked into a jewelry store. She said she has used many aliases in the United States, Europe and Japan.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF DORIS PAYNE")

PAYNE: I reached a point doing this - it reached - I forgot about the money per se. It was a challenge. The finer the store, the bigger the challenge.

MONTAGNE: Recently, Doris Payne's luck has run out twice. She was caught in both Georgia and North Carolina. She's currently out on bond. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.