Doris Payne

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For the singer-songwriter who wrote songs under this name, see Doris Troy.
Doris Marie Payne
Born October 1930 (age 84)
Slab Fork, West Virginia
Criminal charge Theft
Criminal penalty 5 years imprisonment
Conviction(s) Theft (January 2011)

Doris Marie Payne (born October 10, 1930[1] in Slab Fork, West Virginia, United States)[citation needed] is an American convicted jewel thief.


Payne's career as an international jewel thief spans six decades, with a criminal record dating back to 1952. Her modus operandi is to enter jewelry stores posing as a well-to-do woman, typically looking for a diamond ring. Using her charm, she would engage the clerk, asking to see an assortment of items. Eventually, she would "cause the clerk to forget" just how many items were outside the case; and, at some point, she would leave with one or two pieces.

Her crimes have spanned five decades. She has been arrested many times; she is a career criminal.[2][3]

Payne was arrested in Ohio in the 1980s after she escaped from Federal custody during a hospital visit.[4]

On Friday, January 22, 2010, Payne was arrested in Costa Mesa, California for removing the tags from a $1,300 Burberry trench coat from a Saks Fifth Avenue store and subsequently leaving the store with the coat.[5] In January 2011, at the age of 80, Doris was sentenced in a San Diego court to 16 months in prison for stealing a 1 carat diamond ring.

On October 29, 2013, Payne, age 83, was arrested on felony larceny charges for stealing a $22,500 diamond-encrusted ring in Palm Desert, California.[6][2][7] Payne pled guilty. On April 30, 2014, she was sentenced to two years in prison, followed by two years on parole, and was ordered to stay away from jewelry stores.[8] However, she was released 3 months later due to prison overcrowding. In July 2015 she was reportedly stealing again and was believed to have stolen a 33 000 $ (US) ring, although this has not been proven yet. [9]

Payne has openly spoken about her crimes and has used at least 20 aliases, at least ten social security numbers and at least nine dates of birth.[10]

  • It is now alleged in Charlotte NC, that on July 11, 2015, Doris Payne visited a jewelry store at South Park Mall. After she left, store employee's discovered a diamond ring valued at $33,000.00 as missing from a showcase. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has not issued an official statement or APB, but local ABC affiliate WSOC-TV obtained a copy of an email sent out to all area jewelers regarding the crime she is alleged to have committed and to be on the lookout. Payne's ability to use the slight of hand trick, is very well procured and useful, despite being 84 years old.


There is a documentary on Doris Payne entitled The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne.[11]

Halle Berry movie[edit]

A feature length motion picture is purportedly being planned about her crimes, starring Halle Berry as Payne.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Inmate Information System". Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  2. ^ a b "Doris Marie Payne, 83-year-old jewel thief arrested in CA". 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  3. ^ Wagner, Angie "75-year-old jewel thief looks back" Nov 20, 2005. Accessed July 26, 2008.
  4. ^ Gerber, Marisa (2013-10-31). "'Notorious' career jewel thief Doris Payne, 83, arrested again". Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  5. ^ Blankstein, Andrew. "International thief is arrested at South Coast Plaza ", The Los Angeles Times. Jan 27, 2010.
  6. ^ "Notorious jewel thief Doris Payne, 83, makes news in Palm Desert". Los Angeles Times. October 31, 2013. 
  7. ^ Jae, Kyler (2013-11-01). "Jewel Shop Worker: 83-Year-Old Alleged Thief "Was Excellent at What She Did" | NBC Southern California". Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  8. ^ "Woman, 83, has ‘rap sheet’ dating back to 1952 | AM 1540 WBCO". AM 1540 WBCO.
  9. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Carey, Amanda (2012-02-10). "Elderly International Jewel Thief, Doris Payne, Wants to Stay in Jail - ABC News". Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  11. ^ Gerber, Marisa (2013-10-31). "'Notorious' career jewel thief Doris Payne, 83, arrested again". Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  12. ^ "80-year-old international jewel thief Doris Payne to be jailed for 'charming' Macy's raid | Mail Online". 2011-01-14. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  13. ^ y (2011-01-22). "10News - International Jewelry Thief Talks To 10News - - News". Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ "80-year-old jewel thief faces 5 years in prison - Los Angeles Times". 2011-01-15. Retrieved 2013-11-06.